Naples notes: New manager takes the helm

DURING HIS FIRST WEEK — as Naples town manager, Ephrem Paraschak definitely “rolled up his sleeves.” Three days into the job, Paraschak worked with the Naples recreation director to designate parking spaces at the Town Beach and Kent’s Landing. (De Busk Photo)

DURING HIS FIRST WEEK — as Naples town manager, Ephrem Paraschak definitely “rolled up his sleeves.” Three days into the job, Paraschak worked with the Naples recreation director to designate parking spaces at the Town Beach and Kent’s Landing. (De Busk Photo)

New town manager takes helm

During his first week at his new post, Naples Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak took a mallet in hand.

On July 3, he helped Recreation Director Harvey Price pound wooden stakes into the ground. Along with orange surveyors’ tape, the stakes designated parking spots at the Town Beach property. This was done in anticipation of crowds during the July holiday.

However, Paraschak was on his own when it came to making the decision to postpone until Saturday all Independence Day events in Naples.

Well, Mother Nature might have helped with that one. On July 4, areas in Casco and Naples ended up on the receiving end of between one and four inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

On Thursday — prior to the rainstorm, as soon as Paraschak made the decision to postpone the activities, the announcement was placed on FaceBook and updated on the Town’s webpage. Additionally, notices went up on the Naples Fire Department’s LED message board and also Moose Landing Marina’s message board on the other side of town.

According to Naples Code Enforcement Officer Renee Carter, people start calling about the time for the Naples parade and firework a few weeks prior to the holiday. Shortly before July 4, the town office receives such inquiries on an hourly basis, she said.

She said that Paraschak did a good job of getting the word out as quickly and as effectively as possible.

In the end, Saturday was free of rain; and, parade participants and onlookers only had to contend with the wind, which died down by the evening.

Street vendor denied on Fourth

In order to get a street vendor license approved in Naples, entrepreneurs must submit an application at least 60 das in advance, according to Naples CEO Carter.

That was the biggest reason that a representative of the North Bridgton Public Library (NBPL) was denied a spot to fundraise on the Causeway.

“It was just bad timing,” Carter said.

“The board couldn’t get it to a public hearing in time” for the annual Independence Day events, she said.

Any applicant must go through a public hearing process; and, that hearing must be advertised in a public place at least a week in advance of being on the Naples Board of Selectmen’s agenda, she said.

Also, the town has not yet designated the areas where street vendors would be able to operate.

The representative from the library had requested setting up a booth to inform people of a fundraiser set for later this summer. The plan was to sell items that glow in the dark, and to hand out informational flyers about the event.

During a meeting last month, the selectmen suggest that NBPL get on board with upcoming events like the antique boat show or a future classic car club gathering.

Spending the summer at Kent’s Landing

For the past few months, two longtime, high-profile residents have been living in a camper on Town property.

No, this couple is not down on their luck.

In fact, Andy and Connie Madura volunteered to maintain the Naples Town Beach and Kent’s Landing this summer.

Andy Madura is a familiar face at the School Administrative District (SAD) 61. He is the director of Transportation, Facilities and Food Service.

According to members of the Naples Board of Selectmen, the Maduras have really taken ownership of the area. In addition to picking up trash and cleaning the restrooms and changing room building, they have been raking the beach.

Board members also talked about the policy which requires people who use the beach to have a transfer site sticker displayed in a vehicle window.

People can use their driver’s license to prove they are residents of Naples.

Also, families who unwittingly show up packed for a day at the beach won’t be kicked to the curb. However, they will be informed that the area is for Naples residents only.

Town Manager Paraschak said this fall the board will review policies for the property, possibly referring to rules established for other towns’ public beaches.

“The season is already going. We cannot change midstream,” he said.

Keeping Earth Solutions on up and up

In an effort to maintain a level of transparency in local government — especially with his son now stepping into the role of town manager, Selectman Rick Paraschak made it clear that his business is among those used by the town for small jobs that don’t require a bidding process.

Rick Paraschak owns and operates Earth Solutions and Excavation.

“To give you a little history: About eight or ten years ago, the town meeting did a vote to have a road commissioner appointed rather than elected. That passed and Derik (Goodine) was appointed,” he said.

If Goodine needed quick work done such as weekend job, “he might choose people without a bid process.”

Those were jobs under $10,000, he said.

“One of the tools in the tool box was Earth Solutions,” Rick Paraschak said, adding that P&K Sand and Gravel and Marston’s Tree Service were other companies that did short-term, low-cost work for the town.

Prior to Goodine’s resignation, doing ditch work on Cooks Mills Road had been discussed.

“This year, Cook Mills Road is on the schedule to be paved. Before that, it is to be reditched. That has been in limbo for lack of a town manager,” he said.

“If you want to keep Earth Solutions in the tool box” it should be put to a board vote, Paraschak said.

The board voted unanimously that Earth Solutions could continue with the status quo.

“If something is fishy, it is going to be obvious to all of us,” Selectman Kevin Rogers said.

Stories compiled by Dawn De Busk


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