2017-07-07 / Community

Towns hire harbormaster

By Wm. Duke Harrington Staff Writer

Town managers in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport have jointly hired a new harbormaster to serve the two communities.

Dr. James Black was hired starting June 22 to replace outgoing harbormaster Raymond Billings, who had held the position since 2011.

Billings resigned “several months ago,” according to Kennebunk Town Manager Mike Pardue, but agreed to stay on to mentor and train his replacement. Black will serve as assistant harbormaster for his first 30 days, during which time he will be paid $15 per hour.

Once orientation and training is complete, he will ascend to the top job, with an annual salary for the parttime job of $17,908, shared by the two towns.

Pardue said seven people applied for the job, seven of whom received interviews from a hiring committee that included town mangers and police department representatives from both towns, as well as Billings, a member of the Kennebunk human resources department, and a member of the river committee.

The agreement between the two towns for the shared position calls on the river committee to make a recommendation on any harbormaster hiring.

The committee endorsed Black unanimously.

A long-time resident of Kennebunk now living in Kennebunkport, Black is the current president of the Kennebunk Rotary Club.

“Jim’s sincere interest in serving the public was evident in his interview,” Pardue said via email. “His knowledge of the two communities, his dedication to both towns, coupled with his commitment to quality service, caused him to be a well-qualified candidate, and the one that ascended to the top of the candidate pool.

“He has extensive experience in the area of customer relations with a strong background in interpersonal relations and emotional intelligence. He is also adept in the areas of conflict management and conflict resolution and is very familiar with many of the citizens in both Kennebunk and Kennebunkport.”

Working under the direction of the Kennebunk Police Department, the harbormaster enforces the Kennebunk River Ordinance as well as state water safety laws. He is responsible for maintaining the mooring registration list, mooring waiting list, mooring assignments, and mooring inspections, while also working closely with and attending meetings of Kennebunks River Committee.

Kennebunk selectmen unanimously confirmed the hiring at their June 27 meeting. Kennebunkport selectmen followed suit at a special meeting June 30.

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

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