AUGUSTA — City Manager William Bridgeo, who started in the city’s top job in 1998, now has a renewed contract to keep him in the role for three more years.

Bridgeo, 69, has worked as Augusta’s city manager for 21 years.

City councilors voted unanimously last week to renew his contract until June 2022.

“I think we’re lucky to have him for another three years,” said Mark O’Brien, at-large city councilor. “And I think we’ll only realize when he’s gone how much he’s accomplished and what an efficient and effective city manager he is.”

Bridgeo said he and his wife, Janice, have no intention of leaving Augusta, where they have lived since he took the job.

“This is a great community; Janice and I have put down roots here,” he told councilors last week. “I’m going to continue to work as hard as I can to provide good leadership to your professional staff, and in the community.”

Bridgeo said Monday he feels he had a good working relationship with Mayor David Rollins and all members of the council, and that’s a key reason why he chose to continue on the job.

“I never imagined when I took this job in the spring of 1998 that I’d be here this long,” he said, “but I have been blessed with great political leadership — mayor and council members — and terrific department and bureau directors, as well as a community focused on self-improvement and enhanced quality of life.”

Bridgeo will be 72 by the time the contract extension runs out.

In a memo to councilors, he said he knows age eventually catches up to people and ultimately impedes their professional abilities. But he said his enthusiasm for his work and commitment to the community and its government remain strong, noting that he works hard to stay fit and has good health and energy.

“If I begin to sense that I am slowing down, that I can’t meet the rigorous demands of this position or even simply that a majority of you feel that way,” Bridgeo said, “I will take the necessary steps to bring what has been the most rewarding professional experience of my life to a close with no drama.”

He is currently paid a yearly salary of $125,000. Under the terms of the new agreement, Bridgeo will receive the same increase, if any, that councilors eventually award to the city’s other non-union employees each year of the contract. In recent years, that pay increase has generally been about 2% annually.

He noted one of his first responsibilities when he was first hired was to represent the city in negotiations with the state and federal government and the owners of the former Edwards Dam to remove it from the Kennebec River in Augusta.

He helped mark the 20th anniversary of the landmark removal of the dam Monday morning at ceremonies held at Mill Park.

Bridgeo, a native of Aroostook County, was city manager of Canandaigua, New York, before taking the Augusta job. He also previously was city manager in Calais.

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