After Mayo resignation, LePage will put his stamp on Brunswick base redevelopment panel

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BRUNSWICK — Gov. Paul LePage will not reappoint any Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority board members whose terms expire this month.

The governor’s press secretary, Adrienne Bennett, said Wednesday that all four board members will be replaced, including Chairman Art Mayo, who submitted his resignation Tuesday.

“We certainly value their contributions,” Bennett said, adding that not being reappointed by the governor “doesn’t say they’ve done anything wrong, it doesn’t mean the governor doesn’t agree with the direction that MRRA has gone in, they have done some great things for the region.”

The 11 MRRA board members are appointed by the governor and, except for initial appointments, serve four-year terms. Seven board members must come from 16 communities in the greater Brunswick area.

Bennett said LePage will announce his nominations no sooner than Friday, Sept. 9. The state Senate must approve the appointments.

All four seats available were filled by appointees of former Democratic Gov. John Baldacci. Besides Mayo, a former Republican state senator from Bath, they were held by Charles Spies of Topsham, who quit in October 2010; Adam Cote of Springvale, CEO of Thermal Energy Storage of Maine; and Dana Totman of Brunswick, CEO of Avesta Housing. Totman and Mayo had been part of the Brunswick Naval Air Station redevelopment process since 2006.

Totman, vice chairman of the MRRA board, said he hadn’t given much thought to the upcoming appointments.

“Nomination processes often take odd twists and turns and I really haven’t followed it that closely,” he said. “I think it’s entirely up to the governor who they want to appoint, I think all boards to be effective need to have some different interests and a variety of interests represented, so I guess I think more about what I’ve accomplished rather than whose going to be in the group.”

State Sen. Stan Gerzofsky, D-Brunswick, said although he was disappointed that Totman would not serve another term, he has discussed the appointments with the governor’s staff and feels comfortable with who will likely be tapped to join the board.

“(LePage) suggested to staff that we at least look for the skill set that people bring to the table, that’s what the MRRA board’s about. It’s not who they are or where they’re from, it’s what they bring to the table,” Gerzofsky said. “If I thought it was blatantly political, I’d say something.”

Mayo announced his resignation on Tuesday in a letter to LePage. He said MRRA “is in a good place, and it is time for me to resign from the Board of Trustees.”

He served as chairman of the board since MRRA’s inception in 2008, and was also a board member of the authority’s predecessor, the Brunswick Local Redevelopment Authority, from 2006-2007.

During his tenure, MRRA successfully negotiated the transfer of airport property from the U.S. Navy months before the closing of Brunswick Naval Air Station. He also oversaw the signing of several leases, with tenants including Southern Maine Community College, Kestrel Aircraft Co., American Bureau of Shipping and Molnlycke Health Care.

Totman nominated Mayo, who could not be reached on Wednesday, to be chairman at the first MRRA board meeting.

“Art worked incredibly hard as chair, he was always in communication with other board members,” Totman said. “He was very focused and serious with the responsibilities. It was an absolute pleasure to serve with him.”

He said he didn’t think Mayo’s resignation would impede MRRA. 

“Frankly the organization has grown and (MRRA Executive Director) Steve Levesque has been an incredibly effective leader and so I think the staff, where there’s been no turnover, provide tremendous continuity,” he said. “I think our volunteer board, which may turn over gradually with time, won’t necessarily make any significant changes in direction.”

Emily Guerin can be reached at 781-3661 ext.123 or Follow her on Twitter: @guerinemily.

Sidebar Elements

Brunswick council endorses 3 for MRRA board

BRUNSWICK — The Town Council on Tuesday endorsed three residents for appointment to the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority board of trustees:

• Art Boulay, chief executive of Strategic Talent Management, a business coaching and consulting firm.

• Lois Napier Skillings, president and CEO of Mid Coast Health Services.

• John Dorrer, director of labor market analysis and workforce research at Boston-based Jobs for The Future and former acting commissioner of the Department of Labor.

Appointments are made by the governor and approved by the state Senate.