Blastow stepping down as town manager

By Beth A. Birmingham | May 24, 2019
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Valmore Blastow, Jr. has resigned as Town Manager of Thomaston after nearly 28 years at the helm.

Thomaston — With only a few weeks to go to his 28th anniversary and on the day the town is to celebrate its rejuvenation, Thomaston Town Manager Valmore Blastow, Jr. confirmed he has given his two weeks notice.

He tendered his resignation May 23, and all members of the Board of Selectmen were given copies.

"I am truly heartbroken to be in a position where I had to resign from the position of Town Manager after 26 plus years without having assisted in providing a safe and healthy work place and environment for the employees in Watts Hall after all these many years," Blastow said.

"It should be a feeling of freedom and exhilaration to be with one’s family. I simply could not continue, so I will retire taking The Honorable Judge Christie Adams desk with me, that has given me solace for all these years," he said.

In his resignation letter, Blastow noted he has found himself "in a position after a tumultuous year in a hostile and toxic work environment of total disability to carry out the duties of my office. The defamation and tortuous conditions continue to this day."

He concluded, "I have been humbled by the opportunity to serve this community and I know the depths of its history, which in due time will lift the veil of truth."

Blastow started with the town as Code Enforcement Officer Feb. 19, 1991, and was appointed temporary treasurer on Feb. 8, 1993. With the then-town manager on worker's compensation leave, Blastow was appointed interim town manager March 8 of that year, before being named town manager July 6 -- a position he has held since.

His background and education in accounting, combined with his hands-on personality and being one who liked challenges, enabled Blastow to set the apple cart upright and begin moving the town in a better direction -- it seemed.

During his tenure, the town faced a DEP Consent Decree for wastewater handling it was attempting to resolve, 20 union grievances were filed from the police department personnel, excise taxes had been embezzled from the Town Office, and a mil rate heading toward 30 and no clear financial stability.

Blastow said the town had accomplished a great deal -- from relocating the Wastewater Plant away from the river, financial stability, property revaluations and creating a pro-business climate, to working on 100 percent new infrastructure, including wastewater lines, stormwater systems, bridges, water mains, water tower and highways. The town has also worked on economic development to the east, assisted through the stabilization of the viability of Dragon Products with a TIF to modernize the plant, which has evolved into $100 million in new east development valuation.

Most recently, Blastow has been sharpening his pencil and designing his data charts to deal with the possibility of maintaining the Police Department while also preparing the municipal offices to move to the former Lura Libby facility.

"I have never considered my position as political," Blastow said at a luncheon in his honor celebrating his 25th anniversary back on Feb. 23, 2016. "I leave that to the Board of Selectmen. I simply attempt to manage the politics they are facing by bringing sound resolve to any issue, as ultimately the citizens decide."

The biggest change in how things are done, Blastow noted at that time, is in communication. He said today's society is more demanding and there seem to be limited periods of calm, when once there was a slack period to complete other tasks.

Born in Rockland and raised in the construction field, Blastow has operated a construction firm, as a real estate broker, an antique shop owner, and constructed and restored houses in Thomaston and Cushing.

Blastow was one of the 13 town managers to hold the position since its inception in 1950.

His last day, tentatively, will be June 6.

The full resignation letter is attached below.

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

Comments (4)
Posted by: Tom Mellor | May 26, 2019 18:03

I am sad to see Val go because I believe he has done an outstanding job during his tenure here.  He has always been cordial, and knowledgeable. The saying, "These will be big shoes to fill" holds true here. Val-Thank you and good luck!!



Posted by: Peter Jenks | May 26, 2019 06:20

We have been blessed by his dedication and wish him all the best in his next adventures.  His leadership in addressing our infrastructural needs has been a great help to our community.  Thanks for all your hard work.



Posted by: Nicole Jeanette Boutin | May 25, 2019 16:23

Valmore has done a great job for Thomaston.. ! Jim Raye



Posted by: Mary A McKeever | May 25, 2019 13:45

WOW! Blastow deserves a medal! Such a hotbed of political ashes....



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