WINSLOW — Roland Michaud is a stickler for the rules. Robert’s Rules of Order, that is.

A while ago he completed three University of Maine courses so he could learn the “proper way” rules that are typically used at municipal meetings should be followed.

After 31 years as a town councilor and another nine as a selectman before the town changed its form of government, Michaud, 80, has decided to retire from public service. Michaud, who worked for 35 years as a trouble shooter for New England Telephone, is married and has four children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Michaud takes pride in knowing that he’ll leave behind a legacy as the guy who made sure town officials followed the rules. He’ll be missed as the councilor with the lengthiest institutional knowledge of the town and its decisions.

“I’m the guy they’ll be glad to see go,” he said jokingly. “I’ll always call for a ‘point of order.’ An old timer once told me, ‘You live by rules or you’re nothing but a gang.'”

Michaud said he’s stepping down from the council because “I’ve served enough” and “I’m ready to go.”

He is relieved that the town government is in good hands and has adopted a capital improvement program, comprehensive town plan and other budgeting strategies that “has given us our salvation in Winslow.”

“I’m going to miss the council; it’s a damn good group right now — very conservative,” Michaud said. “They’re prioritizing everything because of the economy, but not hurting our local budget.”

Michaud started his service in town government in 1962 when he joined a town budget committee. Over the years he was a town moderator and selectman, and he helped the town write a new charter and transition to a town council and town manager form of government.

He thinks the town has made many wise decisions in recent years, including cost-saving measures such as sharing a fire chief with Waterville and keeping the town’s tax rate flat during the Great Recession. The biggest challenge for councilors will continue to be maintaining town services while keeping taxes down, he said.

Michaud said a simple phrase has guided him as a councilor, and he hopes it will guide future ones as well.

“For the betterment of Winslow,” Michaud said. “Whenever I felt a dire need for certain things, I would say that you cannot say ‘no,’ because it’s 100 percent for the betterment of Winslow.”

Scott Monroe — 861-9239

[email protected]


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