After serving four years as Dixfield’s town manager, Carlo Puiia announced he is retiring June 30. (Sun Journal file photo)
DIXFIELD — Carlo Puiia has announced he will step down as town manager when his contract expires June 30.
Puiia, who turns 58 in April, has been town manager for four years. He informed selectmen Jan. 8 that he intends to retire.
“I want to be very clear that I am departing on the best of terms. If I were to remain working, I would definitely be negotiating a new contract with the town of Dixfield,” he said.
“I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve the many fine citizens of Dixfield in this capacity, and they have been a real pleasure to serve. For this, I am humbled and grateful,” he wrote in his letter to the board.
Following an executive session, the board accepted his letter with reluctance and regret.
Chairwoman Norine Clarke said by email, “It caught us by surprise and we are very sorry to know that he will be leaving in June. It has been a great working relationship and the town has been able to function well through some difficult times. He is a truly kind person and a real gentleman.”
Puiia said selectmen will discuss the process of searching for a new town manager at their meeting Jan. 22.
He said he’s retiring the same day his wife, Paula, will retire after many years with the local school system.
Puiia said the outpouring of support and gratitude he’s received “eclipses what my own hometown, the town of Rumford, demonstrated when I left after 17½ years of service.
“The Rumford Board of Selectmen and my successor as town manager did not even have the decency, the common courtesy, to shake my hand in public and say thank you for your service. Not one of them,” he said.
“The consolation to all of that, though, is the many Rumford residents and town employees who, over the last four years and still to this day, tell me they miss me, wish I was still their manager, and that it’s just not the same at the town hall anymore,” Puiia said.
“It is Dixfield that deserves my thank-you now. Thank you, Dixfield!” he said.