(from the October 2009 Maine Townsman)

Michael Starn, editor of the Maine Townsman for the past 34 years, and Director of Communications & Educational Services for MMA, announced in September that he will be retiring in April of 2010. Starn will officially end his employment with MMA at the end of this month, but will continue to work for MMA as an independent contractor through March of next year. Starn will continue to edit the Townsman during his contract work.

Sabattus selectmen have hired former Lewiston city administrator, Jim Bennett as the town’s interim manager. Bennett, who will work three days a week, temporarily replaces Gregory Gill, who resigned in early September as the town’s first manager.

Elwyn Brewer retired in July after serving 45 years as a Hampden firefighter. Brewer, 77, has worked as assistant fire chief for the past 34 years.

Michael Bussiere has been named Lewiston police chief, replacing longtime chief William “Bill” Welch. Bussiere, a 19-year department veteran, has served as acting chief since Welch’s retirement in May. He worked as assistant chief for six years before winning the top job.

Lincoln Town Councilor Samuel Clay lost his home to fire in late August, despite a quick and concerted effort by firefighters from Lincoln, Howland and Lee. The fire, which is not suspicious, according to fire officials, awoke Clay and his son, Jonathan, and both escaped without injury.

Wells selectmen honored two municipal employees in September for their successful effort to rescue a teenager from Wells Harbor. Assistant Harbor Master Doug Knox and Assistant Highway Commissioner Edgar Moore likely saved the teen’s life, according to the police chief. In a second rescue effort, reserve police officer Mathew Leach borrowed a boggie board on August 30 to save two women who were pulled far offshore by a riptide.

Jonesboro Fire Chief John Geel is retiring after working for 23 years for the town. Geel was honored for his service during the annual town meeting in late July.

Sanford Town Manager Mark Green has been named Manager of the Year by the Maine Town and City Management Association (MTCMA). The group’s highest annual award looks for integrity, leadership skills, the ability to inspire people, personal growth and efforts to improve the image the community in its selection process. Green, 51, has worked as Sanford town manager since June 2004 and previously managed the towns of York, Windham and Buckfield, as well as working as Portland assistant city manager.

Waterville Mayor Paul LePage has announced he will run for governor as a Republican in 2010. LePage, 60, was elected mayor in 2004. He works as general manager of Marden’s Surplus & Salvage retail stores statewide.

York Planning Board member Barrie Munro has resigned after serving the town for 16 years. Munro, 83, said “it’s time” to step aside. Selectmen will appoint someone to finish Munro’s term, which expires next June.

Louise Reid has been named interim manager of the town of Old Orchard Beach, temporarily replacing Stephen Gunty, who resigned this summer. Reid was acting town manager in 2008, in-between manager James Thomas’ resignation and Gunty’s hiring. The town council hopes to hire a new manager by November.

Kittery Public Works Director Richard Rossiter retired in September after 34 years with the department -- the past 31 as the top administer. Norman Albert has been named interim director.

Kittery Town Councilor Glenn Shwaery has resigned after five years because he is moving to New Hampshire.

Rosemarie Webster has been named Pittston tax collector/treasurer, replacing Debra Dawson who took a medical leave and ultimately resigned.

In East Millinocket, Town Clerk/Tax Collector Laura R. Ferguson has retired effective August 1, 2009 after 27 years of dedicated service to the town.  Angela Cote, who has been the deputy town clerk/tax collector, has been named as her replacement.

East Machais voters elected Will Tuell to a seat on the board of selectmen in late September. In his first run for public office, Tuell defeated a second first-time candidate by a vote of 59-1. Tuell replaces Robert Chase, who died in August.