North Yarmouth town manager gets 1-year contract extension

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NORTH YARMOUTH — The Board of Selectmen narrowly approved extending Town Manager Rosemary Roy’s contract for another year.

Selectmen voted 3-2 June 16 for the one-year contract extension.

The panel voted 4-1 on May 12 to continue Roy’s employment. Selectmen Alex Carr, who voted in favor at that time, and Clark Whittier, who abstained because he is stepping down from the board June 30, both voted against the contract extension last week.

“My previous vote was a procedural vote rather than a vote of affirmation,” Carr said in an email June 17, adding that he has been “consistently opposed to contract renewal,” but could not discuss the matter more specifically due to privacy constraints.

Whittier said June 17 that he felt abstention was a mistake that he wished to rectify. He said he gave Roy a low evaluation score, and felt obliged to follow it up with a negative vote.

The new contract expires June 30, 2016. A review will be held in six months, with another to follow in one year. Roy’s $65,000 salary remains unchanged.

Board Chairman Steve Palmer previously said “it was important that the town have some consistency in the town management. We’ve had a lot of things come up this year that have to be dealt with; it wasn’t the greatest year for the board.”

Controversy has surrounded Roy since last December, when she fired Bill Young, the former deputy chief of Emergency Medical Services; the town’s other paramedic, Jeff Toorish, resigned the same day in protest.

Both men have claimed town officials violated their civil rights. Young in January filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission, and filed notice in April that he intends to sue town officials unless a settlement is reached.

A vote is scheduled in November on a proposal to redevelop North Yarmouth Memorial School as a municipal and community campus. If approved, the town would sell its existing Town Hall for housing or commercial development, a municipal sewer system would be created to help facilitate new development.

Roy was previously town manager in Poland, where 11 months after her November 2012 hiring selectmen voted unanimously to place her on administrative leave with pay, pending a contract status review, according to their minutes.

Roy said last June that her separation agreement prohibited her and the selectmen involved from discussing the end of her employment with Poland.

“There was nothing illegal, or anything like that,” she said, noting that when the selectmen announced their decision, they commended her for her two decades of service to Poland.

North Yarmouth selectmen unanimously hired Roy in June 2014. In doing so, they passed over interim Manager Marnie Diffin and others who applied.

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

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.