CAPE ELIZABETH — A facilities director position created to oversee school and municipal buildings has freed up employees to work on energy improvements and Community Services.
Greg Marles, 44, of South Portland, was hired in July to fill a the position. He previously was director of buildings and grounds for the South Portland School Department.
Marles’ job is to oversee all custodial and maintenance personnel, with input from the head custodians and maintenance foreman. The goal is to provide students, employees and the community with a safe, clean, comfortable and efficient environment.
Marles said some of his duties include inspecting buildings for repairs and maintenance upgrades, budgeting for projects and staff, and working with contractors.
“This job is about cooperation between departments,” he said. “I look forward to coming to work. The staff is excellent, it is a positive environment and I know we can become a community others will want to follow.”
Before this position was created, Superintendent of Schools Alan Hawkins said, there were separate maintenance and custodial departments for the municipality and the schools. Ernie MacVane was the full-time facilities manager and Janet Hoskin, director of Community Services, was in charge of the custodial department in addition to her other duties.
“It didn’t work,” Hawkins said. “We began to look at creating a position that would provide key changes and forward movement for the town, the schools and Community Services.”
Town Manager Michael McGovern said after a round of budget cuts, MacVane’s position was reduced to half-time. Community Services was struggling with its revenue stream and changes were needed.
“The facilities director position enabled Community Services to focus on their own marketing and the evolution of the organization,” McGovern said. “It has freed up time for them.”
Now Community Services accepts credit card payments and has an online payment option, services that have evolved because Hoskin has more time, McGovern said.
Hawkins said one of Marles’ goals is to create a 10-year plan to identify the maintenance needs of the town and school buildings. Maintenance and custodial work has been organized and coordinated efficiently, he said.
“Both Janet and Ernie do a great job, but now they are able to focus on more specific projects,” Hawkins said. “Janet is able to manage Community Services activities and Ernie has focused on energy projects for both the town and schools.”
Hawkins said he is pleased with the work Marles has done.
“He is a very positive influence in the school system,” he said. “He has the right energy and personality for the job.”
Marles said even though the maintenance and custodial staff are two divisions, they are one department.
“My goal is to make everybody who comes to work feel respected by the management and the community. These men and women are professionals,” he said. “I also know that we can be the gold standard that other communities look to for facilities maintenance.”
Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or firstname.lastname@example.org