Official leaving amid flak

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NEW GLOUCESTER – Public Works Director Kevin Doyle said Monday that he has accepted similar work with a private company. He will leave his post June 20.

“I am leaving for a better opportunity for me and my family. This is an opportunity I can’t pass up,” he said, although declining to name his new employer.

Doyle gave his resignation to Town Manager Rosemary Kulow on Thursday.

“He’s done a great job for this community,” said Kulow, the road commissioner and Doyle’s boss.

Doyle came under fire from residents last March for authorizing 60-foot wide swaths of trees cut along sections of Tobey and Swamp roads. Those sections have no residents and aren’t maintained in the winter.

Doyle, who didn’t tell selectmen about the cutting beforehand, offered a local logger $1,000 plus the wood to clear the town’s right of way. He said the work was done to prepare for future reconstruction of the roads to town standards.

Lloyd and Debbie May of Tobey Road brought their concerns to selectmen last month and questioned why so many highway department employees had resigned in the past year.

Seven highway department employees have left their jobs in the past year since Doyle took over from Bill Waterman, who was director for 28 years. Some have taken other jobs, one retired and one started his own business.

“Probably they were required to work,” Doyle said of the former town employees. “I wasn’t going to let the guys sit on their duff and play cards. I’ve never done anything for this town to benefit myself,” he said.

Lloyd May said by telephone Monday when he learned Doyle resigned, “I think we’ll have a party. He left a mark on this town that we’ll see for the next 20 years on the Swamp and Tobey roads.”

Selectmen’s Chairman Steve Libby said Monday of Doyle: “While he was here, I thought he did a good job. I’m in full support. He was very good at budgets, planning and working with the board.

“This is so wrong,” he said. The resignation will slow down the town’s momentum while a new director is sought, he added.

Doyle’s salary is $49,532.11 annually, Kulow said.

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