2016-11-04 / Front Page

Town names Pardue to interim post

By Wm. Duke Harrington Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — With Kennebunk Town Manager Barry Tibbetts slated to undergo hip surgery at month’s end and due to retire June 30, selectmen have named an interim manager to hold down the fort.

At their Oct. 25 meeting, selectmen unanimously appointed Mike Pardue to the position. Although Finance Director Joel Downs technically holds the title of assistant town manager, Pardue is much-practiced in the operations and politics of Kennebunk town hall, having run three different departments in the last few years.

Pardue, a retired Ogunquit town manager and police chief who now runs Kennebunk-based management consulting firm The Tideview Group, previously served as director of police services for Kennebunk, during which time he completed reports on how it and the fire department are run. He was next hired to serve as interim director of the Kennebunk’s Public Services Department from January to July of 2015, during which time he produced a report highly critical of the unit’s leadership structure. In May of this year he was hired to serve as interim director of human resources, replacing Carolyn Hughes, who left after 18 months to found her own consulting firm.

He will remain head of human services — “as time permits” according to his new contract — while filling in as town manger, a job he’ll take on starting Dec. 5.

As town manager, Pardue will be paid $2,124 per week. During that time, he will take charge of overseeing the search for Tibbetts’ permanent replacement. After July 1, should he remain in the position, his salary will jump to $2,186 per week. He will receive all of the fringe benefits afford to Tibbetts, except for a monthly car allowance. The agreement also afford selectmen the right to re-assign Pardue at any time back to his human resources job at the rate of pay given before the promotion.

In a updated agreement with Tibbetts, also signed by selectmen Oct. 25, the longtime town manager will step down to the role of assistant town manager to Pardue, from the start of his medical leave on Dec. 5 though March 31, 2017. During that time he will continue to receive his current rate of pay, however.

That rate of pay will continue from April 1 to June 30, 2017, during which time he “will continue to be employed by the town and will be available to the town on an as-needed and consultative basis.”

“Subject to reasonable and mutually agreeable scheduling and availability with the interim town manager, Mr. Tibbetts will continue to assist with the transition and will continue to provide to the town the benefit of his long-time experience, service and knowledge of town operations,” the new contract reads.

Tibbetts’ employment with Kennebunk will end on June 30. However, after April 1 he becomes a free agent and “shall not be prohibited from other consultative services.”

Although Tibbetts will retain full pay and benefits through June 30, the new contract notes that the pay rate may be adjusted if, at any time before then, he applies for and receives retirement pay under the Maine Public Employees Retirement System.

Staff Writer Duke Harrington can be reached at news@kennebunkpost.com.

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