New Town Manager Anthony Wilson is seen Wednesday on Main Street in downtown Winthrop. The former Belgrade manager took office this week and is contracted to serve the town for three years. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

WINTHROP — Anthony Wilson took office as the new town manager for Winthrop this week. The former Belgrade town manager took the reins from Steve Eldridge, the interim town manager, and plans on ironing out a number of issues faced by residents and offering some stability.

“So far, so good,” Wilson, 55, said of his tenure. “I am excited to be a part of the team here. The staff is dedicated, and the council is passionate. It’s a great opportunity to try and address the issues here and work collaboratively.”

The town had been looking to fill the vacancy ever since former Town Manager Jeff Kobrock stepped down in February, citing harassment from town residents over the controversial mooring ordinance.

Now, that ordinance — which aims to limit the amount of moorings in town waters as part of a redevelopment plan for Norcross Point — is sitting atop Wilson’s priority list.

“The council had an executive session where the ordinance was discussed. We also met with the legal counsel,” said Wilson. “The council is planning to discuss further what to do with the mooring ordinance later this month. Any action taken in the future would be done in open sessions with the public allowed to participate.”

Another issue sitting high on the to-do list for Winthrop’s top administrator is researching how the town can regulate quarrying and mining. Councilors recently passed a moratorium that lasts until October, buying officials time to explore options after residents raised health and environmental concerns about a quarry and gravel pit proposal for Turkey Lane.


Wilson has been gathering background information on the issue. He has spoken with the code enforcement officer and plans to speak with town councilors to gain better insight.

“With these meetings, I hope to get enough information to form some sort of plan on how to proceed with a proposed ordinance that will regulate gravel mining and the quarry,” he said.

Wilson, who lives in Belgrade, will be paid $112,000 annually. He is contracted to work for the town for three years.

He said he will look to lean on his years of experience in municipal government — he was the town manager of Belgrade for three years and also served as the communications director for the city of San Antonio, Texas — as he navigates through controversial ordinances and prospective collaborations.

Wilson has also been in preliminary meetings with the Monmouth town manager, Justin Poirier, to finalize Paul Ferland serving as joint police chief for both towns.

The negotiations have begun, and details will follow in the coming weeks regarding the hours he will serve each community and the portion of his wages to be paid by each towns.

“I also spoke with Chief Ferland, and he told me that he anticipates spending 60% of his time here in Winthrop and the remaining in Monmouth,” said Wilson. “Ferland is confident he can get the job done, and we agree with him.”

Developing a purchasing policy and making some changes to the Town Council rules are on the list, too. Infrastructure is also something Wilson plans to focus on. He noted that the town needs to do a better job at paving and maintaining roads and sidewalks.

“Our village has the bones to be a great village, but it just needs some tender love and care,” said Wilson. “I hope that we can find some ways to revitalize it by leveraging both public and private dollars.”

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