Goodine to resign, takes Bucksport job

NW dd17 Photo Derik GoodineBy Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — When Derik Goodine first stepped into the position of Naples Town Manager, it wasn’t safe to be barefoot at the Town Beach.

“When I got here, there was a sign that said, ‘Beware of broken glass.’ I asked what that meant. I was told that the town had torn down a wall, and the fill behind it was glass,” he said.

The uloosened shards and chunks of glass were evident, sparkling dangerously in the sand beneath the water, he said.

“That following spring, I went out with the maintenance guy to screen out all the glass,” he said.

Improvements to that public space, including the acquisition of Kent’s Landing that increased the size of the Town Beach, are among the accomplishments that make Goodine proud. So is the construction of the restroom facility with changing rooms, as well as a public boat ramp that accommodates small fishing boats and bigger vessels, too.

Goodine has been recounting his accomplishments lately.

That’s because last month, he applied for the position of Bucksport Town Manager. A unanimous vote of that town council landed him the job.

Goodine formally turned in his resignation as Naples town manager, with an ending date of June 15.

Curiosity was one reason Goodine applied for the job opening in March, he said. Around the state, a few town manager positions had become vacant.

“I was curious what my marketability was. I’ve been with Naples for 10 years,” he said.

So, he interviewed in Bucksport and Wiscasset. In Bucksport, the former town manager held that title for 20 years. However, when that position opened up two years ago, “I didn’t give it two thoughts. We were in the middle of building a bridge and the Causeway,” Goodine said.

Before he read the advertisement for the opening this year, Goodine’s mother mentioned it to him. Bucksport is open again, she had told him.

“Bucksport is 20 minutes from Brewer, where I grew up, and close to Bangor, where my wife grew up,” Goodine said.

While having roots and family in the surrounding area is a big plus when considering a new job, what is going on in Bucksport is what really piqued Goodine’s interest.

“I wanted to move to a more full-service town. I can monopolize the decision-making, but it gets tasking when every complaint hits your desk,” he said.

“They have a full public works department; they have a full police station; they have a complete parks and recreation department,” he said.

“In Naples, every pothole problem ends up on my desk. In Bucksport, public works would take care of it,” he said.

Bucksport Mayor David G. Keene, who is a town councilor serving in that ceremonial role, talked with Goodine. Keene and fellow councilors even visited Naples.

“Keene told me, ‘We don’t want you to check pot holes, unless public works isn’t filling them. We want you to dream, to come up with the vision for the community, and build (the campaign) that we are a great place to raise a family and have a business,’ ” Goodine said.

Another big plus: Bucksport has an economic development director on staff.

“I’ll have a team of people. This is what I need. It will allow me to have those visions take shape,” he said.

Goodine described Bucksport as progressive.

“Main Street had three old buildings that were dilapidated, that were eye sores. The town bought the properties, tore down the buildings, and put up apartments and commercial buildings. They have a Marina. It was privatized; then, the town took it over,” Goodine said.

The high school is being renovated. When the middle school received municipal funds to build an auditorium, voters agreed to construct a 500-seat auditorium instead of a standard-sized facility that would seat half as many people, he said.

During the courting process, town officials invited Goodine’s family — his wife and two daughters — to tour the town and the public educational system.

“The kids liked going to the schools, but they didn’t like the lockers — whatever that means,” he said.

“The girls enjoyed having the tour, and having the classrooms in the schools opened to them,” he said.

“Their biggest issue is being moved away from their friends,” he said.

“Today, with FaceBook, my daughters are not going lose their friends,” he said.

It was difficult for Goodine to keep the interview process a secret. The Town of Bucksport sent a private investigator to Naples to see if Goodine was the real deal.

“My staff said, ‘We don’t want you to leave.’ That didn’t help me. My staff is like family. To leave them is going to hurt me. My kids — the impact on them, and leaving my staff made this decision more difficult,” he said.

Goodine said it felt good that the entire Bucksport Council voted in favor of hiring him.

“They sold the community to me,” he said.

“Nobody but Portland has what they have — they have a work force within 20 minutes of Bucksport, Maine. An over 100,000 pool of people you can draw from for jobs. They have interesting businesses. They have three hotels, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonalds, and room to grow,” he said.

“They have a mini-hospital and dentist. They have a municipal pool. They have a two-mile-long river walk,” he said, before going into the description of a small book store that might become a favorite shopping spot.

“They have a great quality of life, quality of place town. They want to change the town’s image,” Goodine said.

“I said, ‘Yes, you have so much going on,’ ” he said.

Goodine plans to use a couple days “here and there” to whittle away at his two-week vacation so that the town doesn’t owe him money for that. He intends to travel to Bucksport on those days off to meet the staff, department heads, and local business owners.

“That way it is not so hectic when I start,” he said.

With all Bucksport has to offer, the charm of Naples hasn’t diminished in Goodine’s eyes.

“I love Naples. I plan on keeping my house and renting it out. I plan to come back to visit. I want to build more equity in it. Plus, I like the house. You never know, in another 20 years, it might be my retirement home,” he said.

“I hope I’ve helped to increase the quality of life in this town,” Goodine said.

“From that, we are going to see commercial growth over the next decade. It is important that we guide how that happens. So, we can look back and say this is a nice looking approach. Each building blends in, not cookie cutter, but it looks good,” he said.

“It doesn’t look like anywhere USA. Naples has its own character, its own charm,” he said.

 

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