Douglas Wellington, a resident of Castine for 11 years, was named as trustee for Maine Maritime Academy on September 4, adding a voice from the local community to the 16-member board that governs the four-year academy.
Born and raised in New York City, Wellington lived in Glen Rock, New Jersey, as a practicing attorney and accountant before moving with his wife to Castine. He is an associate professor at Husson University’s School of Business and Management.
Wellington’s appointment as a trustee is one more link in the chain that connects Castine and Maine Maritime Academy.
Since a failed legal action in 2007 by the town over MMA’s purchase of the Abbott House on Battle Avenue, relations between Maine Maritime Academy and the town have improved.
“Cooperation between the academy and town continues to grow, for which we’re grateful,” Selectmen David Unger told the board of trustees at its November 9 meeting.
In a recent telephone interview, Wellington said that after living in Maine for over a decade, he was ready, “if there was some way to do some community service for Maine, to give back to the state.”
When he checked committee openings on the state level, “one of them happened to be [at] MMA.”
“I figured I had the educational background, business and law background, and was a resident of Castine and interested in seeing MMA succeed,” Wellington said.
Wellington has also served on Husson University committees and is chairman of the Castine Planning Board.
As part of the application process, Wellington began by sending his resumé to the governor’s office.
His appointment to the board of trustees was confirmed at a September 4 hearing in Augusta.
“I think the governor’s office probably took into consideration I was from Castine. That was mentioned in the confirmation hearing,” Wellington said.
While acknowledging that potential conflicts between roles as planning board chairman and MMA trustee may arise in the future, Wellington said he would have to recuse himself, “especially as chair of the planning board.”
Wellington said that in the event of a planning board application by the academy having a negative impact for the town, but a positive one for MMA, he would take that on a “case-by-case” basis.
“As a trustee, you have to act in the best benefit of the institution. As a member of Castine, I’m certainly in a position where I can communicate to the trustees if there may be some negative benefits,” Wellington said.
“If it’s too much of a negative for Castine, it maybe not be a benefit for MMA,” he added.