Holt, Burns to receive Visionary award from Maine Downtown Center for downtown Norway work

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NORWAY — Former longtime Norway Town Manager David Holt and retired school teacher and former Norway Downtown President Andrea Burns will each receive a Downtown Visionary award from the Maine Downtown Center today, Thursday, Sept. 28, in Bangor

The Maine Downtown Center is a program of the Maine Development Foundation, a private, non-partisan organization that attempts to drive “sustainable, long-term economic growth” for Maine by empowering leaders, “strengthening communities, and guiding public policy with trusted economic research.”

Holt and Burns will receive the award at the Maine Downtown Center’s 39th annual meeting and summit at the Cross Insurance Arena in Bangor.

Holt, who was hired as town manager for Norway in 1989, served in the position for 28 years until he retired in June 2017. He was succeeded by Dennis Lajoie.

Andrea Burns is a retired school teacher, the past president of Norway Downtown and current board member and chair of its Economic Growth & Support Committee.

“Visions are preferred futures, and at times, it’s kind of like walking on a treadmill,” Burns said on Tuesday, Sept. 26. “It can feel like you’re going nowhere. The day-to-day work takes dedication and focus, and Norway Downtown is grateful for the opportunity to work with the Maine Downtown Center.”

She said that the “groundwork for Main Street’s revitalization” has been in place before she came to town.

“Maine Downtown Center awarding this validates Norway Downtown’s work and efforts in the past, and gives us energy and direction for the future,” Burns said.

David Holt

Burns added ,“David Holt’s guidance and support, along with his sense of humor, have made the difference.

“David always respected the goals of Norway Downtown’s Board of Directors and its committees, and he also tolerated and respected the lobbying we did to benefit Main Street,” she said.

Holt lauded Burns’ passion for making the town a better place and her volunteerism.

“When I was town manager, she bugged me all the time, and I just didn’t see a lot of volunteers coming through town who had a passion equal to hers for the town of Norway,” Holt said. “She’s a hard worker who works very hard.”

mdaigle@sunmediagroup.net