DIXFIELD — Town Manager Dustin Starbuck surprised board members Monday evening by announcing he plans to retire in July.

Dustin Starbuck Rumford Falls Times file photo

“I have been having more health problems,” he said during the online meeting. “In addition to my cardiac issues, for which the doctors have not been able to stabilize me on my medication, I’m having some other issues. I have decided, or I should say, my wife has decided, that I need to retire.”

Starbuck said he would like to continue working until the end of July, which would give the town six months to find a suitable replacement.

“It will allow me to finish the budget, address the water issue, the election and everything else, so that my successor will be able to enter into a position where we will not have to worry about a union contract because we have several years left on that. We have several years left on the sewer contract. We have several years left on the water contract,” he said.

Starbuck said his timeline is assuming “I don’t have any other serious issues. I had a little issue this weekend, but that is my plan. I would like to work until then.

“Obviously, if you find somebody earlier and want me to, I can be around and can do whatever,” he said. “But my goal would be to retire by the end of July.”

All board members said they hate to Starbuck leave but noted that his health comes first. They also thanked him for his service to the town.

Chairwoman Norine Clarke was absent.

Starbuck, a West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran from Virginia, became town manager in June 2018, replacing Carlo Puiia, who had retired.

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