WEST PARIS — Selectmen said they are searching for a new town manager, because John White is too sick to renew his contract.

After the annual town meeting Saturday, March 5, selectmen voted to hire former veteran Selectman Wade Rainey as interim manager, Rainey said.

“John is not coming back,” Rainey said. “He is beyond coming back — that’s too bad.”

White was town manager for eight years and has been sick for the past two and a half years, Rainey said.

“I guess his contract was up at town meeting time so he’s said he could not renew it,” he said. 

“As John has told us twice, he can’t come back — he’s just too sick,” Selectman Randy Jones said.

Rainey said he thought he hung up his municipal hat last year when he opted to not run for re-election for selectman after serving for 24 years. He also spent a year and a half on the Planning Board.

“I’ve been out a year and (selectmen) kind of hinted if I would come back and fill until we can find a replacement,” Rainey said. “They swore me in right after town meeting so everything kind of fell right into place, as far as that goes. The interim town manager takes over whatever duties the other town manager had and tries to pick up the pieces.”

Selectmen were scheduled to address the search for White’s replacement at their meeting Thursday evening. They will consider advertising with Maine Municipal Association, Rainey said.

The board and residents are rallying around White to help pay medical expenses.

A benefit spaghetti supper will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 25, at the South Paris Fire Station, 137 Western Ave. The menu includes spaghetti with homemade Italian sauce and sausage.

The cost is $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and younger.

There will also be a Chinese auction, according to West Paris Deputy Fire Chief and Public Works employee Troy Billings. Among the items being auctioned are a night at the Inn at Pinnacle Mountain in West Paris and offerings from Save-A-Lot and Rustic Grill and Tavern. Those interested in donating can call Billings at 515-1585 or the West Paris Town Office at 674-2701 and ask for Donna, or mail them directly to the town at P.O. 247, West Paris, ME 04289.

“We want to make sure we do something for John,” Billings said. “He’s done a lot for the town and this is our way of giving back to him. We take care of our own. They would be there for us in a heartbeat.”

Jones said selectmen will attend the benefit and are working out details of another one for White.

Rainey commended White’s performance as town manager.

“He was a good financial person and he served the town well and … when he became sick and stuff, we all supported him right until the end of his contract,” Rainey said.

“He is going to be missed,” Jones added.

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West Paris selectmen seek new town manager


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