Town manager contract renewed

Resident opposes pole placement
By Beth A. Birmingham | Feb 19, 2014
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Union resident Jean Grimord expresses her opposition to the placement of a Tidewater Telecom fiber optics pole on her front yard on Clarry Hill Road. Also pictured, from left, are selectmen Greg Grotton and Lyle Cramer, and resident Doris Vertz.

Union — The Union Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to renew Jay Feyler's contract as town manager for an additional five years at its meeting Feb. 19.

Selectman Greg Grotton motioned to renew Feyler's contract — which expires January 2015 — and increase his base rate by 5 percent for the first two years, with salary negotiations after that. Feyler is compensated $55,140.

"We are way low compared to other town managers," noted Selectman Jim Justice. "If we lost him it would cost us an additional $25,000 to replace him."

Other town managers in the area are paid between $66,000 and $101,000.

Selectman Lyle Cramer added that Feyler's diligent management style has saved the town more than $500,000 between audit preparation, readjusting staff hours and salaries, and instituting the use of chip sealing on some of the town roads.

"We are lucky to have him here," said Cramer.

Feyler has been town manager of Union since August 2009.

In other action, Jean Grimord voiced opposition to the proposed placement of a fiber optics pole at the front of her Clarry Hill Road residence. Tidewater Telecom received approval by the selectmen for the pole, which is necessary due to a low hanging cable there.

Chairman Elmer "Bud" Savage said it is not at the town's discretion as to where the pole is placed and recommended Grimord contact Tidewater to see if they have some flexibility.

The motion to approve the pole was approved unanimously, with a notation made that should the company agree to adjust its placement they would not need further approval.

The board also decided to set a deadline for the Thompson Community Center to install a fire alarm at the facility.

"It has been four years since it was first proposed," said Feyler. "Now we need to set a deadline."

The motion was passed unanimously to give the center six months to complete the task.

Informational meeting

The annual informational meeting will be held Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the town office.

This is an opportunity for residents to ask questions regarding town business. The board of selectmen, department heads and town manager will be on hand. Feyler will present a brief overview of the town's budget during the meeting.

The ambulance and fire departments will be serving hot dogs and goodies for a minimal fee.

All residents are encouraged to attend.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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Staff Profile

Beth Birmingham
Staff Reporter
594-4401 ext. 125
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Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.

Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.

Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.

Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 14.

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