New Bath planner admires city's history, character

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BATH — The City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved Andrew Deci as Bath’s new planner.

City Manager Bill Giroux said more than 80 people applied for the job, and seven were interviewed.

“I think Andrew has clearly got the skills and the attitude that we were looking for in a planner,” Giroux said last week. “I think he’s capable of helping the community develop its vision for Bath’s future.”

Deci, who most recently was the planner in Spotsylvania County, Va., is starting at a salary of $60,000.

The 28-year-old’s path to the Bath job has been serendipitous.

He and his wife, Abby, decided to move back to her home state of Maine. She landed a job as a kindergarten teacher at the Dike-Newell School in Bath. Deci left his Virginia job, which he held for five years, without the prospect of a job in Maine.

But before they moved he learned about the opening of Bath’s city planner position, which Jim Upham had occupied since 1996.

“Bath itself is just such a distinctive place,” said Deci, whose first day as planner is Oct. 3. “Maine is made up of a whole lot of really amazing small towns (and) small cities that all offer a lot of different bits of character. But even among all those really special places in Maine, I think Bath is even more distinctive. It’s not necessarily a small coastal town, it’s more of a small industrial city.”

He added that Bath is “very dense … very walkable, and I think the people here really value history and the character of their community, and as a planner, just having people that value those things is very inspiring. It makes you really want to work and be a part of the community.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.