By Matthew Daigle
NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen on Thursday, June 15, voted unanimously to appoint Hebron resident Dennis Lajoie as new town manager.
Lajoie will replace David Holt, who has served as manager since 1989 and was only the second town manager to serve in Norway in the past 43 years.
Lajoie has worked as the chief executive officer for Community Concepts Finance Corp. since 2012, and for the agency in one form or another since 1990.
He said he previously worked as a community development manager in Norway from December 1988 to January 1990, and had experience working with Holt and Larry Todd, who served as town manager before Holt.
“The board’s been busy ever since David announced the news that nobody wanted to hear: That he was leaving us,” Chairman Russell Newcomb said.
He said the town received 17 applications and of those, the board chose four people they wanted to interview.
“We went through the process, and after the interviews, we found somebody who we think … is going to be a fine fit for the town of Norway,” Newcomb said before introducing Lajoie.
Lajoie said Norway is “one of my favorite towns.”
“When I was in the interviewing process, I knew it was freaking you guys out having to bring someone new in, when you’ve only had two town managers in the last 43 years,” Lajoie said. “I just want to let you know that I’m really excited to work for the town.”
Holt said Lajoie “is a great guy.”
“I’ve known him to be a good human,” Holt said. “People need to stop worrying about me leaving and focus on Dennis. The town is lucky to hire Dennis. I want people to welcome him the way everyone welcomed me. I’ll do anything I can to give him support, but I don’t think he’ll need much.”
Selectman Warren Sessions Jr. joked that the only thing Lajoie needs to work on is his “witticisms.”
As the selectmen and audience laughed, Lajoie replied, “I’ll make sure to make my humor drier.”
Lajoie served as a United States Army Military Police Officer in Washington, D.C., from 1979 to 1982, and as a police officer in Paris from May to December 1982.
He is also the chairman of the Hebron Board of Appeals, a board member of the Androscoggin Bank Foundation in Lewiston and a board member of the Lewiston Housing Authorities Development Corporation.