HARRISON — Town Manager Brad Plante is leaving Maine for Arizona, he told three of the town’s five selectmen Tuesday night. Chairman Bill Winslow and Selectman Bill Goodwin did not attend the meeting.

Word that Plante had submitted his resignation, effective in 30 days, had apparently gotten out before the meeting began, judging by the larger-than-usual attendance, including several town employees. No one seemed surprised by the announcement.

“The board is already aware of my decision,” he said, adding that although he would not comment further to the media, he might issue a statement at a later date. He said the reason he is leaving, after a little more than two years on the job, is that he and his fiancée have accepted a position in Arizona.

Selectman Eddie Rolfe started to speak about “having Brad do what he has to do for the next week, and then …”

He was cut off by Selectman Lisa Villa, who chaired the meeting in Winslow’s absence. Saying she would like to “address the board and Brad,” she said she wanted to “wish you and Caroline the best of luck.” She then asked whether selectmen wanted to meet before the next regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 7.

Selectman Kathy LaPlante said, “I would certainly like to do that.” Turning to Rolfe, she said, “Eddie, I think that would be the time to talk about those things.”

The selectmen agreed to talk further about the specifics of Plante’s departure next Tuesday, Aug. 24.

In addition to being the town manager, Plante has also been the town treasurer, road commissioner and tax collector.

Later in the meeting, Mike Morrisette suggested the town not hold Plante to working for the next 30 days.

“We all know there’s been a fair amount of contention and confrontation,” Morrisette said. “I would like to offer a suggestion that you end it tonight.”

However, Villa said she thought it would only be fair to hold off until next week to let the other two selectmen participate.

In other business, Plante told the board that the town had received a letter from the Maine Labor Relations Board informing the selectmen that seven of the town’s 14 employees have signed a petition to hold a vote on forming a union, which would be part of Teamsters Local 340.

In other action, selectmen:

— Approved Gary Pagle as interim harbor master.

— Agreed to send a letter to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection from Plante, expressing concern about the milfoil invasion of the Songo Locks and the potential harm the invasive plant would cause if it spreads to Long Lake. Plante agreed to say “the majority of selectmen” support the temporary closing of the locks to accommodate Rolfe, who said he didn’t support the closing.

— Decided to ask Cumberland County deputies to spend some time talking with kids about the dangers of running into the road while they are jumping off the Bear River bridge on Route 17.

— Agreed to look into repairs for the boat storage house (originally built as the Tea Room) along the shore of Crystal Lake.

— Decided to form a Downtown Planning Committee and re-activate the Conservation Commission. Residents interested in serving on either are asked to contact the Town Office.


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