Topsham Town Manager Rich Roedner Contributed photo

TOPSHAM — Town Manager Rich Roedner announced his resignation Tuesday. He plans to move to Elon, North Carolina, to serve as town manager there.

Roedner has been Topsham’s town manager since 2014 but started working for the town in 2002 as the town planner.

He will officially resign Jan. 2, according to a news release.

“This is a move that my wife and I have been thinking about for many years,” Roedner said. “But the responsibilities of dealing with aging parents, children in college and the recession, put plans on hold.”

During his tenure, Roedner helped oversee with the redevelopment of the Topsham Annex of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, the expansion of Topsham Fair Mall, the redevelopment of the Lower Village and the completion of new town facilities.

Since becoming Town Manager in 2014, Roedner helped selectmen adopt a 25-year capital investment plan.

Roedner also oversaw the conversion of the Topsham Fire Department from a per diem force to a force with four full-time firefighters, giving Topsham full-time and around-the-clock coverage.

Roedner holds a Master’s in Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern Maine and a Bachelor’s in Community Development from the University of New Hampshire.

In an interview, Roedner said Elon was a forward-thinking community with a growing downtown.

Elon has a population of about 12,000 and an area of 4.5 square miles, according to the municipal website, to Topsham’ 32 square miles. It is home to Elon University, a private, mid-sized college. The town is adjacent to the city of Burlington, population 50,000.

“There were over 25 applicants for the manager position,” said Elon Mayor Jerry Tolley in a statement on that town’s website. “Our process was thorough and we believe Mr. Roedner is the best choice. He has a proven track record of achieving the goals put before him and we are excited to have him join our team.”

Roedner said he was 40 when he started working in Topsham. After 17 years, he was starting to think he may retire while working for the town. However, Roedner said he and his wife have been searching for a warmer place to move for a number of years because the winter weather has been hard on them.

The choice to move to North Carolina was a personal decision and has nothing to do with his job in Topsham or the selectmen with which he works, Roedner said.

The move will allow him to be closer to his daughter, who lives in Alexandria, Virginia. Both of his daughters are excited about his decision, Roedner said, who has lived in Saco since 1988.

“I still have things that I want to do,” the 57-year-old said. “I want to be more than a caretaker. I want to get things done. I want to help towns achieve their goals.”

Leaving will be bittersweet.

“So many of the people I work with, I’ve been through births, weddings and passings, professional achievements and all those things that bind people together as a family,” the 57-year-old said.

He called fellow town employees “marvelous stewards of resources” who are dedicated to the residents of Topsham.

“That’s what I’m going to miss because we’re family,” he said.

“The board is very happy for Rich and Dorrie as they take on this new chapter in their lives,” members of the Topsham Select Board wrote in the release. “Rich has been selflessly dedicated to the Town of Topsham through his 17 years of service. He has played an integral role in making Topsham what it is today and what it will be tomorrow. We believe the people of Elon are extremely fortunate to be getting a public servant with the character Rich possesses.”

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