Farmington Town Manager Richard Davis announced his retirement Tuesday to selectmen. He will retire Aug. 27, the 20th anniversary of his taking the position. Morning Sentinel file photo

FARMINGTON — Town Manager Richard Davis informed selectmen Tuesday night, Feb. 23, that he will retire on Aug. 27.

“I told you I would give you six months notice, so here it is,” he said. “August 27 will be my last day, my 20th anniversary here. I have very mixed emotions about it.

“The Town of Farmington has been very good to me,” Davis said. “I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s time.”

Before taking the Farmington position, Davis was the manager in Wilton for 13.5 years after spending four years in Buckfield.

Davis was named the 2018 Linc Stackpole Manager of the Year.

Starting a search now would be a little early, he said, with May being Davis’ recommendation. He also suggested hiring a firm to help the board with the process. Maine Municipal Association and Eaton Peabody were possibilities Davis suggested.

The cost would be in the range of $6,000 to $8,000 which has been included in the budget, Davis said. Advertising could cost about $1,000 and that has also been budgeted for, he said.

“I appreciate your support over the years,” Davis said. “It’s been a great place to work. You’ve been a great employee, all very dedicated and hardworking. I appreciate it very much.”

Farmington is a very good town and there shouldn’t be any trouble getting a pool of very good candidates for the position, he said.

This town appreciates you; good luck, Selectman Chairman Matthew Smith said.

Selectman Stephan Bunker offered the board’s help in checking off any of the things Davis wants to accomplish before leaving.

“I look at it the other way, the things I need to help you with,” Davis said. Getting quotes from firms to help with the search and obtaining sample contracts were noted.

Things on the table for Davis are getting the budget passed with the referendum process, starting the High Street project, the Walton’s Mill Dam removal and other road work this summer.

A proposal to purchase solar energy credits could save the town $140,000 a year on electrical costs, Davis said. A special town meeting would be required, possibly in early May, he said, adding he wasn’t worried about the COVID-19 restrictions as not many people show up.

“Thank you for your years of service to the town,” Selectman Joshua Bell said. Obviously these last few years have probably not been anyone’s ideal for ending their career, he said.

“You’ve been there with a steady hand and it’s made it easier for the town,” Bell added.

“I couldn’t do it without your support,” Davis said. He shared that Farmington doesn’t have the infighting seen in some towns and thinks it’s because everybody appreciates Farmington.

“We’re all working together, pulling in the same direction,” Davis said.

When asked, Davis said there might be an overlap of a week between his departure and the new town manager coming on board.

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