NEW GLOUCESTER — Town Manager Paul First, who told selectmen privately last week he is resigning effective April 4, announced it publicly at Monday night’s board meeting.

“It has been a difficult decision for me,” he read from a news release. “New Gloucester is a wonderful community. I’ve been given tremendous opportunity, first as town planner, then as manager, and I’ve enjoyed working with all of you this past seven and one-half years. I’ve decided it’s time to adjust priorities.

“My decision is for the benefit of my family,” First said. “As many of you know, my wife, Tina, also works in a management position. We talk a lot about how we can do better at balancing both of our jobs and family for our two kids. But, as our kids have gotten older, we’ve come to realize that we have to do better at being there for homework, dinner, athletics, story time, important things.”

First, of Durham, was hired as full-time planner in September 2009. After the resignation of former Town Manager Sumner Field, First was named interim town manager, then permanent manager in 2014.

First told the board that the budget process will be completed and the warrant for the annual town meeting will be done before he leaves. 

The board agreed to pay the Maine Municipal Association $4,900 to assist in the search for a manager. 

Board Vice Chairman Steve Libby will serve as liaison with MMA.

The board voted 4-1 to spend $300 for a single ad in the Lewiston Sun Journal.

In other business, attorney Philip Saucier of Bernstein Shur, the town’s law firm, said the citizen petition to set term limits for selectmen should be presented to voters at a town meeting. Because the town doesn’t have a charter, and there is no case law about such a circumstance, he believes the court would favor the voters right to legislate this ordinance.

Selectman Lenora Conger said she has concerns about setting limit terms.

“There has not been a lot of competition over the years for people to run,” she said.