Naples reveals town manager choice

Ephrem Paraschak

Ephrem Paraschak

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Ephrem Paraschak attended elementary school in the very same building where he plans to set up his new office.

On Monday night, the Naples Board of Selectmen introduced Paraschak as the replacement for outgoing Naples Town Manager Derik Goodine.

Currently, Paraschak is the town manager for the Town of Denmark — a position he’s held for six years. He officially begins the Naples job on July 1.

Paraschak is likely a familiar face and a familiar name to many residents of Naples.

After all, he has called Naples home for a number of years — both as a child and as an adult. Also, he volunteers for the Naples Fire Department and serves on the Casco/Naples Bulky Waste Committee.

Additionally, he is the son of longtime Selectman Rick Paraschak.

When Ephrem first applied for the local town manager position, his father immediately renounced his commitment with the hiring committee. At the time, Rick considered drafting his resignation for the board.

Meanwhile, Selectman Christine Powers made a quick phone call to the town attorney — who said there was nothing unlawful with town employees being related to someone elected to serve on the town’s board of selectmen.

Then, Powers dedicated some time to researching the matter. She read at least 25 town charters, and none forbid the service of selectmen related to town employees, or vice versa.

“People will ask questions, ‘Why doesn’t the town have a law in place,’ ” Powers said.

She surmised that such a law would put restrictions on people living in small towns, where the job pool is already smaller as is the number of folks who volunteer regularly.

Although Powers’ term on the board will end on Wednesday when a new selectman is sworn in, Powers promised to assist with the writing of policies, and to bring the town on board with Maine Municipal Association guidelines.

Those guidelines will help the board to figure out what circumstances create a definite conflict of interest for the Paraschaks.

Rick said after he discovered that there was no law against his continued service on the board, he spoke with Chairman Dana Watson.

Rick was willing to resign with only a year left of his term; but Watson told him it was his responsibility to finish the job that residents had elected him to do.

“There is no way that I would want to create havoc on the board,” Rick said.

“I am proud of my son. He was educated and raised in this town,” he said.

Ephrem’s education continued beyond public schools in Naples. At Syracuse University, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History. Also, he has a master’s degree in Public Policy.

Ephrem told the board that he was looking forward to working with Goodine during the transition time.

Next week, Paraschak will ‘job shadow’ Goodine. Likely, the two town managers will drive around and do an assessment of local roads. Paraschak said Denmark had a public works department but, in Naples, one of his roles will be that of road commissioner.

Toward the end of Monday’s meeting, Goodine became a little emotional about the friendships made during his time in Naples.

“This is my last meeting, and I wanted to thank the board for a decade of good work. I am pretty proud of what we’ve done,” he said.

“I am not selling my house — so I’ll continue to be a stakeholder and a taxpayer in Naples. I’ve made a lot of friends, and those friendships is what made this decision hard,” he said.

“I call this my home. And, it is really starting to sink in that I won’t see the people I call my friends anymore,” he said.

“You have made a good decision with Ephrem,” Goodine told the board.

“I am only a phone call away,” he said.

 

 

 

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