Casco to post CEO job vacancy

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — The pending retirement of Casco’s Code Enforcement Officer Elwin Thorpe has been official news for more than a month.

The retirement date has been set for February.

Now, a full-time CEO position vacancy with the Town of Casco will be made public.

The Casco Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday night to advertise in newspapers both statewide and in the New England region, as well as with the Maine Townsman, a news journal addressing the issues of municipal government.

The job position includes back-up CEO duties for Raymond and Naples.

After some discussion, board members chose to advertise all the duties that had been Thorpe’s responsibility — including acting as assistant to the road commissioner. Thorpe took on that role because his job had him frequently “out in the field,” inspecting sites for permits, and code enforcement infractions.

The selectmen had participated in a question-and-answer session with Thorpe two weeks prior to Tuesday’s meeting.

“If we hire full-time, we need to really look at what the job description is right now, and either re-write it or write down the duties,” Selectman Tracy Kimball said.

“Make sure we document what our expectations are,” Kimball said.

Town Manager David Morton agreed with Kimball’s recommendations.

“It was my intention that the job description would match what Elwin does in the community, particularly here with eight lakes and ponds, smaller bodies of water, too,” Morton said.

“His job is to travel around a lot. He is in and out of our building (town offices) all the time. He is traveling around our community all the time,” he said.

“In larger communities, they might have more code enforcement officers. But, we only need one full-time position that has duties and roles described,” Morton said.

The board had agreed the CEO position warranted a full-time employee, a point that was clarified by Chairman Barbara York before the motion to vote.

Briefly, the town manager discussed the possibility of offering a salary that was more than what Thorpe made. A salary range with a generous wage would attract better candidates, he said. Morton said an upward budget adjustment would require a special town meeting.

Selectman Mary-Viennessa Fernandes requested information about salaries of CEOs in neighboring communities, and the region. She said that would give her a better idea of competitive wages and benefits.

Advertising for the vacancy drew some attention when it went before a vote.

Resident Carroll Morton went to the microphone, and said the vote should not be made without Selectman Ray Grant at the table. Grant was at his camp for moose-hunting season.

Morton said he recalled Grant saying he did not want to miss discussion on the issue.

Another resident, Pat Troy, said she distinctly remembered Grant saying he did not want to miss a workshop about the CEO position.

York agreed that someone could try to contract Grant at his camp to clarify what he said.

However, York and Kimball pointed out that if it were a majority vote, Grant’s vote would not change the outcome.

The vote was, 4–0, to advertise for the vacancy as a full-time position.

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