Calais Announces City Manager, Library Director

Calais Mayor Billy Howard shakes the hand of incoming City Manager Mike Ellis. (Photo courtesy of City of Calais Administration)

By Lura Jackson

Two familiar faces will be fulfilling new roles for the City of Calais in the coming year. Mike Ellis – who will be serving as Calais’s City Manager – and Joyce Garland – stepping fully into the role of Director at the Calais Free Library – were formally appointed at a special meeting of the City Council on Thursday, December 6th.

Calais native Mike Ellis is best known locally as the resident professional golfer and manager of St. Croix Country Club in Calais. During the winter, he’s also lent his management skills to Wreaths for Hope. On Monday, December 10th, Ellis had his first day in the City Building to learn the ropes before the official retirement of current City Manager Jim Porter on Friday, December 21st.  On that day, a public celebration honoring Porter’s twenty years of service in city administration to the people of Calais is planned at St. Croix No. 1 Firehouse from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All are invited to attend.

Incoming City Manager Ellis shares that he is “very excited” to be taking on the position and that he’s been happy with the direction that the city is moving in. “I appreciate the trust that the council has put in me, and I plan on working hard each day to deserve that trust.” Ellis emphasized that he will be aiming to follow Porter’s example. 

“Jim has done a great job. I think he’s been a very effective City Manager. He’s got a good relationship with the council and they seem to get along really well. My goal at the start is to kind of keep things going here on the right track.”

At the Calais Free Library, Joyce Baxter Garland has been confirmed as the Library Director. Garland began her work with the library in December of 2013 as the Children’s Librarian. Since then, she has filled the role of director as needed. When the position became vacant, she applied for the job.

Garland shares that she is looking forward to the duties she’ll be taking on as director. “Myself, along with the great staff, have plans to concentrate on programming in both the adult and the children’s sections,” she commented. “As the newly hired director, my primary focus for a while will be adding to the library literature in fiction and nonfiction, and replacing the public computers with updated versions.” Garland adds that she aims “to work closely with the trustees and also with the City administration and Council members” in her new role.

Garland is taking the library’s helm at a time when it is undergoing renovation to add a “much needed” bathroom in the children’s area, a development that Garland and her staff are “very excited about.” The renovation was funded in part by donations from the Friends of the Calais Free Library. “Thank you to this generous group of people and to all who have purchased items from the book sale,” Garland expressed.