Paris selectmen to hire new town manager

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PARIS — After seven months without a town manager and two interim town managers later, selectmen will vote on a permanent replacement at their Monday, July 25 meeting, according to two selectmen.

Selectmen Chairman Mike Risica confirmed Thursday, July 21, the board will vote on a new town manager on Monday. Selectman Vic Hodgkins announced publicly at the March 28 selectmen’s meeting his bid to become the next town manager in Paris and said he was recusing himself from the subject.

“The best of my knowledge … I believe there will be a vote of the board Monday evening to appoint a new town manager,” Hodgkins said Thursday. “I do plan on resigning my position as selectboard member Monday evening because of that item on the agenda.”

Residents are already talking that Hodgkins will be appointed, although selectmen refuse to publicly confirm their choice until Monday’s meeting.

The town has been without a town manager since December 2015 when Amy Bernard bid Paris adieu to become Newry’s town administrator. That same month, selectmen hired longtime politician and educator Sawin Millet of Waterford to serve as interim town manager. He remained in that position until annual town meeting on June 18, when he returned to retirement at his farm.

Selectmen then found a replacement for Millett – current Interim Town Manager Bill Guindon. The Brunswick resident and former director of the Maine Fire Service Institute’s first day on the job was June 21.

There were three rounds of candidate searches for the top administrator, with at least 47 applicants hailing from all over Maine and as far away as Oregon. Selectmen thought they found a replacement when they hired a finalist in June from Virginia. He rescinded his job acceptance after his wife was offered a career-changing position in the southern state and the family decided to remain in Virginia.

The Paris selectmen’s meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Monday, July 25 at the Town Office, 33 Market Square.

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