BUCKFIELD — Just before selectmen went into executive session to continue her annual review on Tuesday, March 7, Town Manager Cindy Dunn handed them a resignation letter, effective when her contract expires at the end of the fiscal year.
Dunn’s three-year town manager contract expires Friday, June 30. She will remain employed with the town of Buckfield as the town clerk and other associated positions.
Dunn handed her one-page resignation letter to Chairman Warren Wright, who read it out loud. Dunn was town clerk when she also became town manager in 2014.
“When I agreed to take on the Town Manager’s position and all of its affiliated duties and responsibilities three years ago, I stated at that time I would do so for however a short period of time primarily for the purpose of saving the Town money,” Dunn wrote.
In her letter, she said over the past three years the time needed to do all her duties has increased dramatically, which averages 70-plus hours a week.
“There are things under the realm of the Town Manager that should be investigated and/or pursued to move Buckfield forward and there are just [not] enough hours in the day to do so,” Dunn wrote. “This is not healthy for the Town or myself.”
Dunn resigned as town manager, road commissioner, General Assistance director, code enforcement officer, civil emergency preparedness director, health officer and public access officer.
She will stay on as town clerk, tax collector, excise tax collector, bookkeeper, payroll clerk, registrar of voters, assessors’ assistant, motor vehicle registration agent, watercraft/ATV/snowmobile registration agent, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife licensing agent and Deputy E911 addressing officer.
“It has been a pleasure directly working with the Board, the various department heads, Town employees, and all the Board & Committee members,” Dunn wrote. “The Town of Buckfield is truly blessed to have the dedicated people it does working to make Buckfield the best place it can be.”
“Well that’s a shocker but I understand perfectly. I mean I have never worked with a person who works as hard as you,” Wright said to Dunn, noting she has “two, distinct full-time jobs.”
“She is doing a good job. I am not comfortable with it – she is here too much,” Wright added. “I am not sorry to hear it happen but in a way I am and in a way I’m not.”
“I think the amount of hours you put in Cindy and the work you do has been extraordinary,” Selectman Maida DeMers-Dobson said.
Dunn served as town manager from July 1991 until September 2004. She then served as interim town manager from February until March 2014 and later became town manager from March 2014 until June 30, 2017.
Wright commented selectmen will have to begin looking for a new town manager. Dunn reiterated what her letter said that she is willing to assist with the hiring process for a new town manager “to the extent the board desires.” She added the town has standard interview questions and answers for the town manager position.
Dunn told selectmen have to decide on the parameters for the next town manager and once they do so, they will advertise for the position.