Brunswick council rushing to make MRRA nominations

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LePage expected to appoint 2 board members in early Feb.

BRUNSWICK — After learning that Gov. Paul LePage will soon appoint two members to the 11-member board that governs development at Brunswick Landing, the Town Council is hoping to get in its own nominations before the governor makes up his mind.

At its Tuesday night meeting, council Chairwoman Suzan Wilson and Vice Chairwoman Margo Knight encouraged qualified residents to submit their names to be considered for nomination to the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority’s Board of Trustees.

“We’re asking for Brunswick citizens with strong business development experience to submit their names to us,” Knight said, indicating that interested applicants should send their resumes or statement of qualifications to Town Manager Gary Brown at the municipal building, 28 Federal St.

Wilson said the council will accept resumes until Tuesday, Jan. 29. She said the council will then convene for a special meeting later next week to get a nomination ready for Feb. 4.

“Just because we have been rebuffed in the past we’re still going to try to nominate someone in good faith,” Wilson said Wednesday, referring to the fact LePage has never appointed one of the council’s nominees, including Town Manager Gary Brown and Business Development Manager Denise Clavette.

Adrienne Bennett, a spokeswoman for LePage, said the governor is expected to announce two MRRA board appointments the week of Feb. 4. Bennett said he also is expected to make another appointment later in the legislative session.

The impending announcement means the Town Council has little time to find its own nominees, Wilson said. She said she learned about the nominations at MRRA’s executive committee meeting on Jan. 8.

“This was very short notice for us so we’re kind of cobbling this together,” Wilson said. “I don’t have any idea who might ask to be considered. We might get nobody or someone who doesn’t meet our standards.”

Wilson said the council is looking for someone who is especially geared toward real estate or business development.

“To our eye that is something lacking on (the MRRA) board,” Wilson said. “The base redevelopment is really important and you need some real, real estate and business development heft on there.”

The town is in a dispute with MRRA over property leased by Kestrel Aeroworks that MRRA believes to be exempt from taxes. After discussing possible legal action, MRRA is now asking the Legislature to clarify tax exemption for aviation companies on municipal airports – another move the town opposes.

The two pending MRRA board appointments are overdue from last fall, when MRRA Chairman John Moncure and Vice Chairman Don Hudson’s terms expired, Moncure said.

Because LePage’s appointments must be confirmed by the Legislature, and the legislature was not in session at the time, Moncure said, LePage asked the two to stay on the board until the official appointments are made in February.

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.