FALMOUTH — When John McNaughton started working in Falmouth, the town was mostly rural farmland, Route 1 was primarily for car dealerships and only 7,600 people lived in the town.
Now 25 years later, as he turns 60 and retires from his position as the town’s finance director, much of Falmouth’s farmland has been developed into subdivisions, Route 1 is a growing retail area and more than 11,000 people are residents.
And the town’s valuation has doubled.
“Falmouth has evolved,” McNaughton said. “It’s become more suburban urban.”
McNaughton, who was Brewer’s assistant city manager for five years before becoming Falmouth’s code enforcement officer and planner in 1986, said he is proud the financial side of the town has remained stable. That has allowed the council and town officials to focus on policy, he said, rather than worrying whether a check will clear.
“The citizens can be confident the town’s finances are handled,” he said.
For the past 19 years, Falmouth has won the Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting. The town also recently had its credit rating increased by credit rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, making it one of the highest rated municipalities in the state.
“He was, what I would call, a person with great work ethic and a tremendous foundation in public policy,” Town Manager Nathan Poore said. “John’s experience with finance is up there with the best of the best. We really wish him well.”
McNaughton said that while he was in Falmouth, the town financed $70 million worth of capital improvement projects, including two school projects and the public safety building.
The nicely timed refinancing of the high school bonds will save the town $1.3 million. And the town averaged 0.3 percent interest on short-term financing for the new elementary school, which, he said, combined with other cost-saving measures, cut an estimated $8 million from that project budget.
“It is fun putting those deals together,” McNaughton said of the capital improvement projects. “A few years from now, when the rates go up, I think people will really realize the value of (the low interest rates).”
McNaughton said he plans to replace the fun of finance with the fun of travel with his wife. He said he isn’t much of an advice-giver, but that if he had anything to say to his successor, it’s to take advantage of the town’s excellent staff.
“They’re all top-notch professionals,” he said. “And get out, talk to the citizens. We have a great citizenry in Falmouth.”
Out of a candidate pool of 29, Falmouth hired Rob Boschen to replace McNaughton last week. Boschen was previously the finance director in Waterville, and has an extensive background in both public and private finance.
Falmouth Finance Director John McNaughton retired last week after 25 years of service to the town.