By Leslie H. Dixon
NORWAY — Norway’s Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman has accepted a job with the town of Oxford.
In a letter dated Jan. 9 to Town Manager David Holt, Corey-Whitman said her last day of work is Friday, Jan. 20. She will replace Oxford CEO Rodney Smith, who is retiring.
“I was surprised by Joelle’s resignation as I didn’t know Oxford had a vacancy,” Holt told the Advertiser Democrat on Tuesday, Jan. 17. “Joelle was a joy to have around and I wish her the best.”
Holt said he has asked Paris Town Manager Vic Hodgkins about the possibility of sharing its CEO to fill the vacancy in Norway.
“To me, it makes sense to share in training a new CEO, be able to pay enough to retain someone but still keep the costs down as best we can,” Holt said. “I hope that folks can see this as investment for the long run. While sharing is not always easy, I believe it is worth the effort and I greatly appreciate the openness of Town Manager Hodgkins and Code Enforcement Officer Kingston Brown in agreeing to give it a shot by proposing it to the Paris selectboard.”
Corey-Whitman said she will miss the people of Norway.
“I will miss the citizens of Norway, their dedication to its wonderful and thriving downtown and continued protections of the land and water bodies that make Norway a special rural Maine town,” she said.
As Norway’s CEO, plumbing and health inspector, Corey-Whitman has been at the forefront of numerous issues. They include changes to the Norway Rental Occupancy Ordinance that grew out of a nationwide scandal involving shoddy Section 8 housing in Norway, the remediation of numerous dangerous building issues, a controversial one-year moratorium on building in Norway’s rural village in North Norway, a controversial proposed wedding barn and much more.
She said she will remain as part-time CEO in Greenwood as long as it works for Oxford and her schedule. Typically Greenwood is slow with commercial development and permits, she added.
Corey-Whitman said she is looking forward to her new duties in Oxford, where she has served as alternate CEO for the past several months.
“The move to Oxford will bring new challenges with more commercial and larger-scale development,” she said.
She begins her duties in Oxford on Wednesday, Jan. 25.