LINCOLN, Maine — Fired Veazie Town Manager Bill Reed will be Lincoln’s new town manager and will start work Wednesday.
The Town Council voted 7-0 during a meeting on Monday to hire Reed with a one-year contract paying $65,000. Council Chairman Steve Clay said that councilors felt Reed was the most impressive among the eight finalists for the job.
“His interview and experience, and recommendations from former councilors and employees in Veazie” were the things that Clay said were most notable about Reed.
“He was the best one we had,” Councilor Rod Carr said.
Reed, who was Veazie’s town manager for 19 years, was fired from his job in September after incidents that he said stemmed more from personal strife than from opinions about his performance as town manager.
He had clashed with several Veazie Town Council members over their discussions outside of public meetings and over his requests for information from the Veazie Sewer District regarding the legality of its assessments, Reed said.
In anonymous ratings, Veazie councilors assessed Reed with ratings between 0 and 5 in 12 categories ranging from “Quality of Work” to “Leadership.” The grades were mostly twos and threes, but Reed received two zeroes each in “Personal Work Habits,” “Attitude,” “Teamwork,” “Public Relations & Communications” and “Leadership” — all from two councilors.
One of the two chose not to explain his reasons for any ratings, including the zeroes. Reed requested that the review session be open to the public — a rare occurrence — and more than 35 residents and town employees packed the council chamber.
In the days preceding his review, Reed had publicly questioned three Veazie councilors for holding informal discussions outside meetings. Three councilors make a quorum, the minimum number of members needed to take an action in a governing body.
Reed’s termination was “something that we were concerned about, but once it was looked into and we asked some questions, I was satisfied,” Clay said.
Reed has visited town several times and was especially impressive in his ideas for economic development in Lincoln, Clay and Councilor Curt Ring said.
Ring said Reed’s ideas matched what Ring wants to see happen in town, such as the development of a town industrial park.
Veazie councilors hired former Holden Town Manager Larry Varisco to replace Reed as an interim town manager and former Stockton Springs Town Manager Joseph Hayes as a permanent successor.
Reed succeeds former Lincoln Town Manager Lisa Goodwin, who is now Bangor’s city clerk, and interim Lincoln Town Manager William Lawrence, who is Lincoln’s police chief.
BDN reporter Nick McCrea contributed to this report.