South Portland fire chief wins city's 3rd statewide honor

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SOUTH PORTLAND — The Maine Fire Chiefs Association named Fire Chief Kevin Guimond its Fire Chief of the Year on Wednesday at the Marriott at Sable Oaks.

Guimond became the third city employee to receive a statewide honor this year.

Planning and Development Director Tex Haeuser was named Planner of the Year in June and City Clerk Sue Mooney was named Clerk of the Year in September.

City Manager Jim Gailey said the awards are well-deserved and a testament to the quality and commitment of the city staff.

“Having three employees receiving the highest honor in their respective fields sheds a very positive light on the city of South Portland,” Gailey said.

Guimond joined the Fire Department in 1987 as a firefighter-paramedic and, by 2003, had worked his way up to his current position as chief, leading more than 100 full-time employees.

“I’m honored to be recognized by my peers,” said Guimond, who was surprised by the award. “I’m fortunate to work for a great city that continues to support the fire department. I’m blessed to have great people working for me protecting the city 24 hours a day.”

In his nomination letter, Gailey noted Guimond’s efforts to keep residents safe in a 13-square-mile city that draws 13 million visitors a year to the Maine Mall area, while hosting the east coast’s second busiest oil port and a thriving semiconductor industry.

In June, Haeuser, who has worked for the city for 20 years, was named Planner of the Year by the Maine Association of Planners for his efforts to pass legislation to create a tax increment financing district from transit, known as a transit TIF.

TIFs allows municipalities to keep and reinvest tax dollars generated from new development. The new legislation allows cities to designate transit corridors and use new tax dollars to not only pay for transit infrastructure, but also salaries for expanding service.

In September, Mooney was named Clerk of the Year by the Maine Towns and City Clerks Association for her efforts to expand training opportunities for clerks statewide. 

Mooney has worked for the city for 34 years and had endeavored to make Web-based and DVD training courses a reality in Maine.

“It is nice to see the well-deserved recognition,” Gailey said. “It highlights that South Portland does have by far the best group of employees providing the superior service to our residents and businesses.”

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or