Meet Baileyville’s New Town Manager

By Joyce Scott


Baileyville Town Manager Rick Bronson encourages residents to drop in the office to meet him. (Photo by Dorothy Johnson).

 

Rick Bronson is the new face at the Baileyville town office.  He was recently hired to fill the position of town manager.

Bronson replaces Linda Pagels-Wentworth who vacated the position in November of last year for personal reasons.

Bronson makes the daily commute to the small mill town from his home in Bangor.

Although he has some experience in municipal  government, this is Bronson’s first job as a town manager.

Why Baileyville?   “It’s not like I had a lot of towns asking me to come there,” he recently told a Calais Advertiser reporter.   “Baileyville said the magic thing.”

His past municipal experience includes serving on the Bangor town council, working for the fire service for 37 years, the last 11 of those years as the fire chief for the City of Brewer and serving on BACTS [Bangor Area Comprehensive Transportation].

He also owned and operated a production service company for several years.

“I’ve had an eclectic career,” he said.

Although he did not specify his age he hinted that there are those who have retired at his age.  “I have no desire to retire right now,” he said.  “I don’t sit down very well.”

The new manager took up his new position on April 17th.  “I began my day at 8 a.m. and had my first visitor at 8:05,” he said.

He outlined his current priorities.  “Right now the big parts of my job are the budget and meeting people,” he said.

As he spoke with the reporter last Thursday, he was preparing for a special town council meeting that night.  This was his second town council meeting since taking over the reins.

He explained the purpose of special meeting was to finish up details of the budget for the upcoming town meeting.

He said he is definitely getting his feet wet.  “Now I’m trying to find a dry spot,” he chuckled.

He talked about the town’s upcoming annual budget.  “It’s pretty well done,” he said.  “The council had that [budget] done.  They deserve a lot of credit.”

Taxation is a concern.  Bronson said although it doesn’t appear there will be a mil rate increase, there are other factors to be considered.  “The town is headed toward a full revaluation,” he said.  “They are sort of in the process.”

One of the loose ends will be brought before the town in one of the articles at the town meeting on May 13th.  “It’s an ordinance change,” he said

If approved by the townspeople, the change will mean all assessment appeals will be handled by what is currently, the Zoning Board of Appeals.  Currently appeals are handled by the council.  Bronson said “This way is less political than using the council.”

Experience has taught him well.  “I’ve been on both sides of the table,” he said.  “I’ve seen multiple managers.  I’ve seen managers who have forgotten who they work for.

 The town manager is clear on his role.  “I certainly work for the citizens of the town,” he said.  “The bottom line is I work for the council.”

Although he has a daily two hour commute each way, Bronson said he plans to remain in his new position for the long term.  He is currently looking into accommodations in the area that will allow him to make the trip less frequently.

Bronson said he is excited about his new job and looks forward to meeting and working with the people of Baileyville and the surrounding areas.