2017-11-24 / Community

News Briefs

NEW HIRES — Kennebunk has a new human resources director, filling a post previously helmed by Town Manager Mike Pardue prior to his ascension to the town’s top job. At their Nov. 14 meeting, selectmen voted unanimously to confirm Pardue’s selection of Jeri Sheldon of Gorham. Sheldon previously worked in Gorham for 11 years as that town’s director of human resources, along with 15 years as assistant to the town manager.

“Jeri’s vast experience as a human resources director, coupled with her commitment to working in a team environment, along with her high energy level, stood out in the selection process,” Pardue said. “She impressed us tremendously and she has acclimated beyond any expectation. I am very excited as she will be a tremendous addition to our team.”

“I loved my job in Gorham, but there were a few municipalities that I thought if a position became open I’d like to take a chance and see if I would be a good match and Kennebunk was one of those,” Sheldon said. “I’m here because of the opportunity to help the town manager and the team and the employees of the community as best I can.”

Sheldon will earn a starting base salary of $73,000 per year.

 Also new to the Kennebunk employment rolls is Bryan Laverriere as the new operations manager at the public works department. He replaces Scott Wentworth, who retired Aug. 1 after nearly 30 years with the town.

Laverriere holds a bachelor’s degree from Bates College and “offers significant experience in project and asset management,” Pardue said. “Bryan is committed to working in a team environment and subscribes to ‘leading from the front.’”

“Laverriere comes to the Kennebunk after several years for Provencher Fuels, in Biddeford,” Pardue said.

He will be paid a base salary of $62,000 per year — $5,000 less than his predecessor.

 Meanwhile, the search has already begin in Kennebunk to land a new town planner. At the Nov. 14 board of selectmen’s meeting, Pardue announced that Judy Bernstein will retire from that post in January after 32 years with the town.

“My emotions are mixed because she’s done a wonderful job for 32 years and her institutional knowledge is something we all draw from, but at the same time I know we will all be wishing her well as she goes into that next chapter,” Pardue said.

Her last day will be Jan. 15.

Pardue said he and town engineer Chris Osterrieder, along with Sheldon, are working with “some resources that will bridge the gap that will take place,” between Bernstein’s last day and the start date of her eventual replacement. “We will probably be a month or two with that position open so we are looking at a way to fill that void temporarily,” he said.

 Selectmen on Nov. 14 unanimously tapped Barbara Fleshman to serve as representative of Kennebunk’s historic preservation commission on the town’s comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance update committee. She replaces Maureen Adams Weaver, who recently resigned.

GARDEN TILLING — In its continuing bid to create actual terms of office on town volunteer boards where tenures have hitherto been undefined, Kennebunk selectmen voted Nov. 14 to divvy up spots on the 11-member community garden committee, such that, in the future, one-third of the committee with come up for reappointment.

Given one-year starting terms to June 2018 were Sarah Downs, Rona Klein, and Michelle Ruth. Given two-year terms to June 2019 were Dominic Cacciola, Steven Doughty, Joseph “Gus” Favreau, and Barbara Rummler. And, appointed for three years to June 2020 were MaryLiz Baker, Leo Hallen, Leslie Lindgren, and Sandra Tillman. Going forward, all new appointments to the committee will be for three-year terms.

STREET CLOSURES — Kennebunk selectmen have approved a host of holiday road closures. Main Street will be closed from the intersection of Water and Storer streets to the intersection of Fletcher and Dane streets from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25 for the annual downtown tree lighting in the newly rechristened Barry Tibbetts Plaza. Police may keep the road closed passed 6 p.m. “depending upon the pedestrian traffic.” Also, Western Avenue will be closed from Cooper’s Corner to the Mathew Lanigan Bridge from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 to accommodate the Christmas Prelude tree lighting in Dock Square, across the bridge in neighbor- ing Kennebunkport. The same stretch of Western Avenue also will be closed from 3 to 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2, for the Christmas Prelude Hat Parade, and from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8, for a second tree lighting ceremony.

BAG BAN — At the request of Dick Morin, Kennebunk’s solid waste and recycling committee will be meeting soon at a date to be determined in December, to discuss “a great recommendation to alter the trash program that we have.”

“The is the town of Kennebunk, that prohibits plastic bags, then uses plastic bags to get rid of trash,” said Morin, a longtime critic of the town’s pay-as-you-throw program. “While you’re at it, why don’t you draft a styrofoam ban, too.”

Town Manager Mike Pardue said the town’s energy efficiency committee actually “is working on that,” ban, as well as a plan for LED street lights.

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

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