When Gardiner elected officials meet later this week, they will consider appointing an economic development director and city planner.

Thomas Fiorelli, who holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Oregon, has accepted the combined position and is expected to start no later than Feb. 19.

According to the Gardiner City Charter, the City Council is required to approve the appointment.

Fiorelli was chosen from a field of several dozen applicants. District 3 City Councilor Shawn Dolley served on the selection committee.

“We ended up with six who interviewed, and we narrowed it to four,” he said.

Two were from Maine and two were from out of state.

At that point, he said, the four candidates were asked to make a project presentation, to pitch Gardiner’s attributes to a business considering locating in the city.

“They had to go through the merits of what Gardiner has to offer and why it’s a good place to locate based on the research they did,” Dolley said. “It was a good way to figure out what they knew about the area and explore their ability to sell something and do a pitch.”

Fiorelli, who could not be reached for comment Monday, has also earned a graduate certificate in ecological design from the University of Oregon. His LinkedIn profile shows that most recently, he has been working as a grant development research assistant at the University of Oregon. In that role, Fiorelli helped prepare a competitive grant request to the National Science Foundation on increasing gender equity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics academic faculty. He also worked as a water resources planning technician for the Lane Council of Governments.

In his profile, he lists strengths in advanced GIS skills, expertise in land use planning and zoning, and expertise in public outreach and project management, among other attributes.

The salary for the position is $65,343.20, plus benefits.

At the end of 2014, Nate Rudy left his post as Gardiner’s economic and community development director after about three and a half years to work as executive director of Waterville Creates!, a nonprofit organization established to promote Waterville as an arts destination. Rudy was hired as Hallowell’s city manager in 2016.

Then-City Manager Scott Morelli opted not to fill the position, distributing duties to other city staff members, outsourcing most economic development functions to the executive director of Gardiner Main Street and using a contract planner to fill those duties. At the time, city officials were projecting a deficit of around $518,000.

Patrick Wright served in the dual role of economic development coordinator and Gardiner Main Street executive director until May 2018, when he resigned from both positions. He had announced his departure in January 2018. In its search for a new executive director, the Gardiner Main Street Board decided to focus solely on its core purpose of downtown revitalization.

At that time, interim City Manager Anne Davis had proposed adding a full-time economic development director to the city’s staff. After some debate, city councilors opted to wait until the city manager’s role was filled to see what skills that person would have, but they included funds for an economic development director and planner for part of the year in the city budget.

In October 2018, the City Council voted 5-1, with two members absent, to authorize City Manager Christine Landes to advertise to fill the position.

City elected officials are also expected to:

• Hold a public hearing and consider renewing the license for the The Depot Pub

• Hold a public hearing and consider adopting proposed amendments to the snow removal ordinance

• Hold a public hearing and consider adopting proposed changes to the Sewer Ordinance

• Hold a public hearing and consider approving a bond proposal not to exceed $295,000 for LED streetlight conversion

• Hold a public hearing and consider approving a continuation of the medical marijuana storefront moratorium, retroactive to Jan. 5

• Hold a public hearing and consider approving a proposal to establish a tree ordinance

• Approve a resolution honoring former Mayor Thom Harnett

• Hear an inaugural poem by Helen Stevens

• Hear an audit presentation by Runyon, Kersteen, Ouelette

• Consider approving membership in the Maine Service Center Coalition and appointing voting delegates

• Renew listing of Libby Hill Business Park with Magnusson Balfour

The Gardiner City Council meets at 6 p.m., Wednesday in the city council chamber at 6 Church St.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.