Cape Elizabeth Town Manager Michael McGovern to retire after 31 years

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Town Manager Michael McGovern will be leaving the job he has held since 1985 at the end of the year.

McGovern on Monday announced he will resign, effective Dec. 31.

“It is a good time to leave and to feel good about where we are,” McGovern said. “It is also a good time for the town to have new leadership bringing new ideas and new approaches.”

The Town Council will meet Aug. 29 to discuss the process for hiring a new manager. McGovern will be assisting in the search for a new town manager, which Council Chairwoman Molly MacAuslan said will be a great help.

MacAuslan said she’s “personally saddened” by McGovern’s resignation.

“He’s been a tremendous asset to the community, and it’s been a privilege to work with him as Town Council chair this year, but I know Mike looks forward to pursuing his many personal and professional activities and commitments,” she said in a press release.

McGovern began working for the town in 1977 as an intern, and in 1978 became a full-time administrative assistant to the town manager. During his time as town manager, he volunteered with the Rotary Club of South Portland/Cape Elizabeth and with Rotary International. McGovern said he will continue to work for Rotarian causes during retirement.

“My plans are to continue my volunteer work and to perhaps take on some interim assignments outside Cape Elizabeth from time to time,” he said.

In a press release, McGovern said nothing he has accomplished over the past 39 years has been done alone.

“Much of what is accomplished in Cape Elizabeth is due to a culture of integrity, transparency, planning, collective decision-making and a willingness to take on difficult issues,” he said.

McGovern said he will leave the position feeling proud of many things, including the newly renovated Thomas Memorial Library and the soon-to-be renovated Recycling Center. He said he’s also proud of the town’s police, fire, public works, and school departments.

The people McGovern has worked with in various capacities are what makes the town function so smoothly, he said. He said the town councilors he’s worked with have made Cape Elizabeth “one of the finest communities anywhere.”

McGovern said he’s enjoyed working with his fellow town administrators and employees, who are people that care deeply about the residents.

“Cape Elizabeth has the best department heads anyone could ever wish for and exceptional town staff members who always come through in meeting all of the service needs of our citizens,” he said.

The citizens themselves have also played a large role in making the town a great place to work, McGovern said.

“We are also fortunate to have an engaged citizenry who volunteer on our governmental committees and who give of their time and talent in so many other ways,” he said.

MacAuslan said McGovern has been a huge asset for the town and will be hard to replace.

“While Mike has been instrumental in establishing strong governance, organizational and financial structures, systems and policies that will ease the transition to a new manager, it will be difficult to find someone with both his operational skills and his personal and professional integrity,” she said.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Cape Elizabeth Town Manager Mike McGovern will resign Dec. 31.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.