GARDINER — City officials are following a different path to fill a needed position on the city’s staff.

The Gardiner City Council has endorsed a plan by City Manager Andrew Carlton to create a deputy director of the Department of Public Works to be hired from within the department.

At Wednesday’s council meeting, Carlton said that person would be in a position to learn the executive management side of the job, including budgets, contracts and capital improvement planning, and in time be promoted to the top position in the department.

With the winter season starting — the busiest time of the year for Public Works — Carlton said he didn’t want to bring changes to the department by bringing on a new director that could alter the dynamics of a high-functioning crew.

“It’s stressful, there’s a lot going on and the guys are going to work a lot of hours,” he said.

Gardiner has been without a full-time Public Works director since August, when Jerry Douglass accepted a position as town manager in Durham. Carlton has been filling in as acting director with the help of John Cameron.


Public Works currently has five employees.

At-large Councilor Tim Cusick asked whether the position, which is a non-union position, would be expected to do work that falls under the union contract.

Carlton said that would not be the case. The department would still hire a foreman who would hold a union position. While the change would reduce the number of union workers in the short run, he said the city is still looking to fill a vacant mechanic’s position and maintain staffing of six.

While the Public Works director position had been advertised, it was not filled.

Over the last several years, city officials have struggled to fill vacancies, from the city manager’s position on down through the departments. In addition to the Public Works mechanic position, which was first posted in August, the city is also now looking for an economic development director/public information officer. It had been looking for both police officers and firefighters and has filled vacancies in the front office.

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