RUMFORD – Selectmen agreed Thursday night to look toward neighboring Mexico as a possible temporary solution to the upcoming loss of their town manager.

Town Manager Jim Doar announced his decision this week to not seek an extension of his contract when it ends in June. He has agreed to stay until then to help with the transition, if necessary.

Board Chairman Greg Buccina will contact the chairwoman of the Mexico Board of Selectmen, Barbara Laramee, to set a time for the two boards to discuss possibly hiring Mexico Town Manager John Madigan part time when Doar leaves. Madigan was Rumford’s full-time manager in the early 1990s and has been Mexico’s for several years.

Buccina said such a solution could be an opportunity for further regionalization between the two towns.

Selectman Arthur Boivin said he didn’t believe the town charter allowed use of less than a full-time town manager.

Buccina said that if such a experiment works, then perhaps the charter could be amended.

He said he also wanted to wait until after the June 10 elections before setting the process of hiring a manager. He and Mark Belanger are running for re-election, and four others interested in being candidates.

Selectman Frank DiConzo said, “This is the time to jump on the band wagon” of regionalization.

Buccina said perhaps the two boards could also explore the possibility of sharing a fire chief. Nine-year veteran John Woulfe left his position earlier this month for an administrative position in Washington, D.C. Deputy Chief Richard Coulombe was appointed interim chief until the board decides how to fill the position.

Several selectmen suggested two weeks ago that Mexico Fire Chief Gary Wentzell be considered as fire chief for Rumford.

Coulombe was also appointed town fire warden and emergency management director at Thursday’s board meeting.

In other matters, the board approved giving about $17,000 from cable television franchise fees to the Western Valley Access Channel. That figure represents about half of the $34,000 or so the town received this year from such fees.


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