Topsham taps former Brunswick administrator for assistant manager job

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TOPSHAM — Derek Scrapchansky, Brunswick’s assistant town manager from 2015-2017, is due to assume that role in Topsham Monday, Oct. 1.

The town’s Board of Selectmen on Sept. 20 unanimously approved hiring the Brunswick resident, who retired in 2015 after 25 years in the U.S. Navy.

Topsham eliminated its assistant manager position around 2011, and duties such as human resources have since then been shared by other staff. Town Manager Rich Roedner said Sept. 21 that he looks forward to various responsibilities handled in recent years by multiple employees now being coordinated by the assistant manager.

The town had 30 applicants; a selection panel interviewed five before narrowing the pool to two finalists. Scrapchansky emerged as “the unanimous recommendation” for the Board of Selectmen’s consideration, Roedner said.

Scrapchansky will have a salary of $84,000.

“I wanted to stay involved with the community,” Scrapchansky said Sept. 21, noting that he was grateful for the opportunity to work in Brunswick, but resigned that post in May 2017 due to “specific family issues that needed to be taken care of.”

After spending the next year and a half addressing those matters, the 51-year-old said he became interested in re-entering town administration when he heard about the opening in Topsham. He knew the town’s staff through his time working in Brunswick, and “thought it would be a good fit,” given the management experience he had gained through the Navy and Brunswick.

Roedner agreed.

The manager praised Scrapchansky’s “varied experience,” referring to responsibilities such as director of New Technologies for the Navy’s Patrol and Reconnaissance Group during his last posting in Norfolk, Virginia. In that role Scrapchansky managed new technology integration into more than 100 aircraft, and facilitated training and operational readiness programs for more than 8,300 personnel, Roedner said.

Scrapchansky was also director of Operations/Force Protection for Carrier Strike Group 8, which included activities for 9,000 employees, 75 aircraft and 12 ships, operating with a budget of more than $2 billion, Roedner said.

“One of the things that we were looking for was somebody who was not a career municipal employee,” Roedner said, noting that Scrapchansky “just brings a different outlook. I think the military background (offers) a ‘let’s bring this to a conclusion’ outlook as well.”

Scrapchansky’s main responsibilities will be employee relations, facility management, and technology coordination, Roedner said. He will also have an as-yet-undetermined finance management role, and participate in current and upcoming projects.

“I believe that Derek will bring considerable technical capacity to our ranks, and will fit in very well with our culture and approach to finding and implementing solutions,” Roedner wrote Sept. 21 in a letter to staff.

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

Scrapchansky

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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.