PARIS — Bill Guindon was excited to begin as the town’s new interim town manager earlier this week as the search for a permanent administrator continues.
The Brunswick resident began work on Tuesday, June 21, as former Interim Town Manager Sawin Millett’s last official day was Saturday, June 18. With the farming season in full swing, Millett headed back to his Waterford farm to take care of his agricultural responsibilities.
This is their third round of vetting candidates. As of two weeks ago, selectmen had offered a Virginia applicant a job as town manager. He accepted the position, then rescinded after his wife was given a career-changing opportunity there.
Selectmen then held an executive session Thursday, June 16, to interview Guindon and hired him that night.
“I’m glad we have an experienced manager to take us through the short term as our search continues for a permanent replacement,” Selectmen Chairman Mike Risica said in an email. “Bill was referred to the town through [Maine Municipal Association]. He brings extensive public sector experience and knowledge.”
Guindon had a busy day Tuesday but took a few minutes to talk with the Advertiser Democrat.
“I am excited at the opportunity that I am able to serve in the position. I am just getting my feet wet today, a lot of listening, a lot of questions,” he said. “Sawin has big shoes to fill. He did a good job and I can build on that.”
He added Millett has left him some guidelines to help get him situated in Paris and the two plan to meet soon.
Guindon served as the director of the Maine Fire Service Institute from 2010-15, which is what brought him to Maine six years ago, he said. In Maine, Oregon and Colorado he spent more than 30 years in the private sector, according a press release. He has also served as a firefighter, Maine’s Firefighter Training and Certification program director, fire chief and interim city manager in Burns, Ore., where a lengthy armed standoff on a national wildlife refuge made national headlines.
“It was a nice place to be … and a good experience but I am glad I am not there anymore after what’s been going on there the past few years,” Guindon said. “It was time to move on.”
He currently is a member of the Brunswick Personnel Board and serves with the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation and is a regional advocate for Everyone Goes Home, the release said.
Guindon has a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Colorado Christian University, a master’s degree in public administration from Anna Maria College and certificate in human resources from Penn Fosters Schools.
Guindon and his wife, Pamela, have three children, according to the release.
The search for a new town manager began in December 2015 when then-Town Manager Amy Bernard left to become Newry’s town administrator. Selectmen hired Millett the same month and have been on the search for a permanent replacement ever since.
Risica said selectmen have a Skype interview and in-person interview scheduled for two different finalists Thursday, June 23.