Christian Waller is the Farmington Town Manager. Submitted photo

FARMINGTON — Town Manager Christian Waller is excited to be in his new position and looking forward to building on the strong foundation established by former manager Richard Davis.

“Probably one of the bigger things we’ll be looking at over the next several months is strategic planning,” Waller said Tuesday, Sept. 7. “The town has some revenue coming in from the solar farm and ARPA money from the federal government. Just looking at how to best position the town based on those parameters, figuring out what the best use of those funds is. Make sure whatever we’re spending it on, make sure we know as best we can what the pros and cons are down the road.

“Make sure that those are in line with the community’s needs and desires,” he continued. “We have a very good, strong select board. I think with their leadership it will be very helpful towards doing the best with that.”

Waller has been meeting with department heads and inventorying facilities.

“I think the town has a lot of very capable staff and leaders,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with them, learning from their expertise and building on that. I think the town is well positioned for some exciting things down the road.”

Waller has worked in state government and has experience working with local and federal areas.

“It’s just fantastic to be that much closer to the citizens but still have that understanding to try to bring to bear to help,” he said. “That’s what I’m really looking forward to.

“I view public service as almost a sacred calling,” Waller continued. “It’s a way I can contribute to the community.”

Formerly director of policy for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Waller began as Farmington’s Town Manager on Aug. 23.

Waller has a master’s degree in public administration from Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public & Environmental Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Framingham State College, Framingham, Massachusetts.

Waller said he grew up on a farm on Martha’s Vineyard. The opportunity to work more directly with the public was one reason he applied for the Farmington position. His parents retired to Farmington a number of years ago.

“I felt my skillsets would directly translate to the type of tasks that are here,” he said. “I’ve been coming to Farmington for 25 plus years. I knew it was a  great little town. I like the people in the area.”

While Waller has already met different members of the public, he is looking forward to continue that and learn of the different groups in the community.

“I think Richard did a very strong job and left a strong foundation,” Waller said. “I’m looking to make sure we continue to provide good public service as efficiently as possible and looking at opportunities the town can take advantage of that the selectmen want to pursue.”

Waller knows there can be misunderstandings about an issue.

“Part of managing effectively is trying to present those things, some very complex materials to the board and the public in as easy and understandable a way as it can be.

Being familiar with the area did make the transition easier, he said.

“I certainly don’t claim to know everything about the community,” Waller said. “Part of the joy of it is being able to get immersed in it.”

Joining Rotary and several professional organizations are planned by Waller. He hasn’t been in town for a Chester Greenwood Day celebration but said he has his earmuffs ready and considers it a great piece of Farmington’s history.

“I have attended the fair a number of times,” Waller said. “I’m partial to the horse pull. Hopefully everyone will be able to enjoy the fair safely and the weather cooperates. I think it would do everybody’s spirits a lot of good.”

In December Waller’s wife graduated as a registered nurse and began a job in January. She wants to have a year under her belt prior to moving to Farmington and the couple will be in a long distance relationship for a time, Waller said.

“I was actually on the road with two kids, ducks and chicks driving here on the day of our 25th anniversary,” he said. “I like to think that means things are strong.”

The Wallers have six children. One daughter is finishing high school in Indiana, another is starting college at Indiana University. A son and daughter started school Tuesday at Cascade Brook and the middle school.

“The kids are looking forward to making new friends and connections in town,” Waller said. “My family is looking forward to being here. We’ve been fortunate to have a place to land with family. That gives us a bit of flexibility to find the right place.”

Waller is excited to be in Farmington, is still getting used to being able to get Moxie at the grocery store.

“It’s like a dream,” Waller said. “I told Richard I hoped to beat his record of 20 years. That would mean I’d be 72. We’ll see. There’s a lot to learn and take in.”

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