City Manager Jim Porter to Retire

By Kaileigh Deacon

 

At last Thursday’s City Council meeting, City Manager Jim Porter surprised the council by announcing his intention to retire later this year. Porter has been with the City of Calais for 23 years, serving as City Manager for the last four. Porter cited personal reasons as his reasons to retire.

“I’m forever grateful for the opportunity and the confidence you’ve shown in me the last four years,” Porter said. “I feel we’ve achieved many good things for the citizens of our community. Through efficiencies we’ve kept the mil rate in check while still improving infrastructure.”

Porter said that his plan is to retire on December 21st of this year. Porter said that he would stay on and help the new city manager get acquainted with the position and the town. The council asked if Porter would be part of the process for hiring his replacement, and Porter agreed if they thought it would be in the best interest of the city. Councilor Artie Mingo expressed that Porter’s input would be invaluable. “It’s not just your tenure as city manager, it’s your knowledge of everything that’s taken place here for the last 40 years.”

The council presented Michael McLean with the Spirit of America Award, an award that is presented to honor volunteerism and is presented to a community member or organization commendable community service. The City of Calais selected Mike McLean for his involvement with various community activities and all the work he does with the Calais American Legion.

Prior to the meeting, the Property Committee met to discuss the offer of purchase for a city-owned property on Shattuck Road. The council was presented with an offer at the last meeting that fell below the city’s low bid requirement from an abutting property owner. The Property Committee met without a quorum and discussed the possibility of what to do regarding the property.

The council considered the situation and agreed to sell the property to the abutting owner for the amount of $6,000 on the condition that the building on the property be torn down. The city required that this condition be met within a year’s time, allowing until July 1st, 2019 for this to happen.

The council also looked at the possibility of completing the sidewalk project along Triangle Park which involves rebuilding the sidewalk and lights along the Main Street portion. The City has received a grant in the amount of $12,000 for the lighting portion of the project. The current estimate to do the lighting and bring the sidewalks up to match the opposite side of the street with the brick pavers and cement is around $80,000.

The council tabled the item, allowing City Manager Jim Porter time to complete estimates for completion of the project using either sod or asphalt instead of the concrete and brick pavers.

Julie Jordan of the Downeast Economic Cooperation provided the council with an update regarding the Broadband utility. The pole survey will start Tuesday with two hundred poles in Calais and two hundred in Baileyville.

The next City Council meeting will meet in September.