City Manager Michael Roy has cut longtime City Planner Ann Beverage’s full-time position to part-time with no benefits as part of a restructuring of planning and code enforcement duties at City Hall, leaving Beverage wondering if she will soon be out of a job.

Roy said he cut her hours starting Jan. 1 so he could propose hiring an assistant code enforcement officer to help the understaffed code office. The new person also would become part-time city planner, and Beverage would no longer have a job description.

The council must approve position changes, but Roy did not get approval before cutting Beverage’s hours. The council will consider approving the new assistant position at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at The Center downtown.

Beverage, 62, has been city planner 26 years and says she wants to continue working full-time and has no plans to retire.

“Creating this new position, which includes my current job description, leaves me without a job,” she said Monday.

A memo from Roy to councilors dated Jan. 15 says he proposes to continue employing Beverage on a part-time basis and hiring someone who can learn the planning function and assist with code enforcement. But Beverage says she fears she could be terminated sooner rather than later.


The city charter authorizes Roy to hire and fire city employees.

“By charter, the city manager is responsible for all personnel decisions, but this (planner’s job) is a position change, so really, it’s a council decision about changing the job description,” Roy said Monday.

City Council Chairman Fred Stubbert, D-Ward 1, said Monday he thinks the person Roy is looking for to fill the code and planner’s position will be hard to find, considering the skills the person will need for the amount of money the city would pay.

“In my opinion, the city needs a full-time code officer as well as a full-time planner and not a hybrid,” he said.

Beverage said Roy told her about two years ago that in the future he wanted to make her position part-time, but on Monday she said she was surprised he cut her 40-hour work week to 20, thus eliminating her health insurance benefits. Her contract ended Dec. 31.

“I’ve enjoyed working for the city of Waterville,” Beverage said. “I’d like to continue working for the city of Waterville as long as possible. I prefer that (Roy) hire a part-time code enforcement officer and allow me to continue in my position. I don’t know when I’m going to retire.”


Roy said the assistant code position is needed because Code Enforcement Officer Garth Collins has more work than one person can handle. It costs about $100,000 to operate that office and in the fiscal year ending June 30, his office received $275,000 in revenues, largely because of building projects for MaineGeneral Health and Colby College.

The city once had the equivalent of 2.5 staffers working in the code office, but during former mayor Paul LePage’s 2004 to 2010 tenure, that was reduced to one full-time position, Roy said. The demands on that office, which issues permits, does inspections and handles complaints, is high, he said.

In the past, Collins mentioned his intent to retire at some point, but Beverage has not, he said.

“But really, her husband is retired,” Roy said. “She’s early 60s, so I’m just trying to plan ahead for when both she and Garth retire. I think the important thing is to not lose Ann’s expertise and planning functions and have someone learn from Ann while she’s here.”

Beverage said her husband retired from Colby College and works part-time in Taiwan. She does not have any plans to retire and wants to stay as long as she is allowed.

Roy said Collins and Beverage are “not going to work forever” and the likelihood of both retiring in the next year or two is high.


“I think bringing someone in now to learn their positions would be very, very important, before they get done.”

Because councilors will vote by resolution rather than ordinance Monday, they will vote only once on the proposal to change Beverage’s job description.

Stubbert said Beverage does a good job as city planner.

“I think Ann’s been very professional and been a benefit for the city,” he said. “She does a lot of good things for us, especially working with the Planning Board.”

Also Tuesday, councilors are scheduled to consider ratifying collective bargaining agreements with Teamsters Local 340, which represents public works and recreation department employees, and AFSCME Council 93, which represents general government workers. A total of about 40 employees are represented by those unions, Roy said.

The proposed three-year contracts would give employees 2 percent raises in the first and second years and a 2.5 percent raise in the third year, Roy said.


Both are retroactive to last July. Roy said the reason negotiations have taken so long is that the city asked all employees to switch to a lower-cost insurance plan, which would save the city money.

The proposed plan, which non-union city employees now have, basically would mean union employees would pay less in premiums per week but have higher deductibles, Roy said. The insurance carrier is the same — Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield — but the proposed service plan is different, he said. Police and fire contracts are yet to be ratified, he said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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