MILLINOCKET — Paul Bird will assume his new duties as Millinocket’s town manager on Jan. 19. Bird, the former town manager of Gray, says it was the people in Millinocket who convinced him to take the job.
The new town manager says he has no preconceived agenda about Millinocket. “I want to be an asset to the town,” he said.
He complimented council members for their commitment to the community and to education. Bird said he was impressed with the people he met. “They are concerned about the future of Millinocket,” he said.
Bird says his management style is one where he tries to provide an environment for him and employees to work together as a team.
“Without them, I can’t, and neither can the community, be successful. I value the employees’ contribution. I am constantly looking for efficiencies of scale and opportunities to save money for the town, but at the same time look to employees to provide that efficiency,” said Bird.
Millinocket’s new manager knows all about dealing with tight budgets during poor economic times. Bird said Gray’s budget and work force were reduced by 15.27 percent during three earlier budget cycles, and all without eliminating services. He said Gray has seen no significant tax increases caused by increased spending during the 1990s.
Bird has 26 years of experience as a town manager in Maine. He has served as manager in Gray, Topsham, Monomuth, Richmond, Tremont and Cherryfield.
The new manager says he grew up in southeast Asia and in Africa. He went to schools in England and has spent time overseas where he experienced different walks of life and different cultures.
“He [Bird] really impressed me,” said Town Council Chairman Herbert Clark. “He took a lot of time before he even met with us to research the town. He knew a lot of history about Millinocket,” the chairman said.
Bird, who won the unanimous support of the council, officially accepted his new position as Millinocket’s manager on Friday when he signed a three-year employment contract. He will be paid $55,000 a year.