Yarmouth move leaves Bath seeking new city planner

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BATH — The city’s former economic development director is now at work in Yarmouth.

His departure has led to a reallocation of duties within Bath’s Planning Department.

Scott LaFlamme left Bath Sept. 15 and started Monday as Yarmouth’s economic development director. His replacement in Bath will be Bath’s new city planner, a position for which the city is advertising at cityofbath.com. Application reviews begin Oct. 2.

LaFlamme started in Bath in 2014 as community development director, a position that evolved into economic development director. In Yarmouth, he replaces Denise Clavette, who left in July to become Auburn’s assistant city manager.

LaFlamme in an interview Sept. 22 called his new job a good opportunity to expand his responsibilities and “jump in on a new program that I could still have a lot of latitude in making it my own.”

Praising Yarmouth’s economic momentum, the Lewiston resident said, “They’ve had a lot of success recently, and I think it’s gotten people excited about what’s going on in Yarmouth.”

Being closer to Portland presents unique opportunities, LaFlamme added, noting as examples the area’s population influx, and its connectivity through arts, culture and foods.

“I think that there’s a lot of continued potential here in Yarmouth to continue that growth,” he said.

Matched by his excitement for new adventures is his fondness for the job he leaves behind.

“Bath’s an awesome city,” LaFlamme said, noting the close friendships he has forged with residents and staff. “It definitely was a bittersweet situation. I really appreciate all the time I’ve spent there, and I think we’ve done some really cool projects.”

Bath has “a ton of good energy, and there’s a lot of opportunity for some really neat development and redevelopment,” he added.

The city’s new employee will oversee development and review and report to Andrew Deci, who the city hired in 2011 as director of planning and development. The two planning roles match the system in Brunswick, where Anna Breinich is director of planning and development, and Jared Woolston is town planner.

“We’re kind of reallocating (LaFlamme’s) role and his job, salary, to this configuration,” Deci said in an interview Sept. 22. “When he left, we paused and said, ‘how can we use that resource most effectively.'”

It was determined that Deci would assume a leadership role over all development and planning activities in Bath, including economic development matters, “and then we would have someone come in under me to both assist me with long-range things, but also to be solely responsible for the development review process,” Deci explained.

That process involves issues that interface with the planning board and Staff Review Committee, and applicants and developers, he added.

Deci and Assistant City Manager Marc Meyers are filling LaFlamme’s duties until a replacement is found. The city is offering a salary range of $42,000-$52,000, depending on experience.

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

Scott LaFlamme is Yarmouth’s new economic development director, after previously serving in Bath.

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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.