Norway praises town manager after six-month evaluation

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CHANGE OF SCENERY — Dennis Lajoie of Hebron was hired in June by the Board of Selectmen to replace longtime Town Manager David Holt, who retired on June 26. Lajoie, who has worked for Community Concepts for 32 years, said that he was looking for a change of scenery and had a level of familiarity with Norway, prompting him to accept the position.

NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Dec. 21 to continue with Town Manager Dennis Lajoie’s three-year contract following an evaluation of his job performance after six months.

Selectman Russell Newcomb explained that when the town hired Lajoie, his contract stipulated that after six months he would undergo an evaluation. If selectmen were happy with his job performance, they would continue with the contract “as printed.”

Chairman Warren Sessions Jr. said that Lajoie has “exceeded our expectations.”

Newcomb then made a motion to continue with Lajoie as Norway’s town manager.

“You can unpack your boxes now,” Newcomb said to Lajoie, prompting laughter from the board.

In other matters, the board voted to accept $1,500 for the search-and-rescue dog approved at the Dec. 7 meeting.

Norway Police Officer John Lewis in October proposed the town buy a dog that would be able to assist police in tracking people and sniffing out evidence, including drugs.

The dog – a purebred black Labrador that would live with Lewis – would not be trained to attack, Lewis told selectmen in October.

At the Dec. 7 meeting, selectmen unanimously voted to allow the Norway Police Department to move forward with the police dog program.

At Thursday’s meeting, the board voted to accept a $1,000 donation from James and Pirkko McBride to help with the cost of the police dog, and to accept an anonymous donation of $500.

mdaigle@sunmediagroup.net