Topsham’s interim town manager Derek Scrapchansky became Topsham’s new town manager with a unanimous vote of the board of selectmen Thursday. Darcie Moore / The Times Record

TOPSHAM — Topsham selectmen had only to look as far as their interim town manager Derek Scrapchansky to find their next town manager.

The five-member board unanimously voted to hire Scrapchansky as the town’s top administrator Thursday.

Scrapchansky first came to Topsham in late September 2018 to work as assistant town manager. He was tapped as interim town manager when former town manager Rich Roedner left Jan. 2 for a job in Elon, North Carolina.

Selectboard Chairman Dave Douglass said the board was pleased with Scrapchansky’s work over the past year. When Roedner gave his resignation in November, selectmen met with Scrapchansky and discussed how the town was running and opportunities for the future. They decided to pursue Scrapchansky early on as town manager rather than launching a search to fill the role.

Selectmen decided to pursue Scrapchansky instead of launching a search to fill the role.

“We’re very familiar with the things he’s been working on and what he’s been producing and knew he was a great fit for the town,” Douglass said. “We had really positive feedback from employees so we as a (board) sat down and started talking about previous hiring processes and it became early on a consensus by the group that we wanted to focus on Derek.”

“He certainly brings some leadership and has an eye toward tackling things we really need to tackle,” Douglass said.

Scrapchansky said he is focused on the budget process as well as developing a new and robust facilities management program and capital plan to preserve town property and prevent repair and replacement costs down the road. For example, the town office and public safety building were built in 2007 and recently, deteriorated trim on the town office had to be replaced.

Scrapchansky said he wants to focus on retaining staff and wants to ensure the town has a good employee recruiting plan so it attracts highly talented people. Scrapchansky also wants to keep the lines of communication open between the town office and the public, stating he’d like to hear from the public about how he and his staff are doing, along with suggestions.

“We are very welcoming here and we hope that continues,” he said.

Scrapchansky signed a three-year contract ending in May 2023 and will earn a $111,000 salary.

“The town has an incredible group of professional and dedicated employees that are supportive of one another and are focused on the quality of service they provide to the community,” Scrapchansky said. “The Topsham community is simply impressive. I have witnessed a level of passion and commitment of many residents that seek to improve the town every day.”

Scrapchansky retired from the U.S. Navy in 2014 after 25 years. He served as the assistant town manager in Brunswick from 2015 to 2017 before coming to Topsham in 2018. He stated in his resignation letter that he was leaving the position due to constraints he faced and opportunities that were in the best interest of his family.

Working with the federal government and Department of Defense gave him experience dealing with budgets, managing departments and multi-tasking on projects.

For example, he worked as director of New Technologies for the Navy’s Patrol and Reconnaissance Group during his last posting in Norfolk, Virginia. In that role Scrapchansky managed new technology integration into more than 100 aircraft, and facilitated training and operational readiness programs for more than 8,300 personnel.


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