MECHANIC FALLS — The Town Council decided Tuesday night to have the Recreation Committee find a summer recreation director to keep the summer day camp in town and not send campers to the Outdoor Learning and Education Center in Auburn.

Council Chairwoman Cathy Fifield called the emergency meeting ahead of a May 6 session with the YMCA of Auburn-Lewiston, which runs the center.

Susan Marston, who ran the summer recreation program for 14 years, resigned over the winter, and Town Manager Zakk Maher thought it was the Recreation Committee’s responsibility to find her successor.

Councilors, however, said they believed Maher had the authority to choose a successor, so when the matter of finding one came up early this spring, Maher considered the YMCA.

Maher said Tuesday he held “multiple conversations with Sue Marston and the YMCA.”

“Sue did put out an email to her parents supporting our concept of partnering with the YMCA to keep a summer recreation offering available to our residents,” Maher said.


In a letter to Maher dated April 17, Fifield wrote: “Please post the position for summer recreation director immediately. I would also like a team of citizens to be included in the interview process for hiring. I have had numerous emails and phone calls stating the citizens of Mechanic Falls want this program and for their kids to stay in Mechanic Falls. The council did not agree to an outside program.”

One parent cited a “lack of transparency and poor communication” by the town in not looking for Marston’s replacement sooner to save the summer program.

Fifield told the more than 20 parents and other residents at Tuesday’s meeting the town will get the summer program on track.

Councilor Nicholas Konstantoulakis said the town will find a director.

Marston said she will produce and distribute flyers to inform residents that the program is back.

The council will oversee the finances of the program and work with Maher to set the hiring policy.

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