Originally published in Castine Patriot, July 3, 2014
Castine Selectmen’s meeting ends with ovation to retiring town manager
After a decade of service, Dale Abernethy attends final meeting
Retiring Castine, Maine Town Manager Dale Abernethy endured—and thanked citizens for—”kind words” on his final day in office when selectmen met on June 30, 2014.
by Anne Berleant
A meeting called mainly to sign warrants before the fiscal year ends on June 30 drew a crowd that came to bid Dale Abernethy farewell. However, at his last selectmen’s meeting as town manager, Abernethy provided the same knowledge and advice as always. “We’ve never found him to be lacking in an answer to a question,” said Selectman Gus Basile.
While selectmen gave Abernethy a private farewell prior to the meeting, community members filled the available seats to thank him for his service and to applaud his tenure, which included four years as code enforcement officer and 10 as town manager.
In both those roles, Abernethy came up with “solutions that work for everybody,” said Ted Lameyer.
Sue Macdonald, a past and present municipal committees member, noted his support even when explaining “why our crazy ideas were not good ones.”
Jimmy Goodson, beginning his own tenure as town manager on July 7, had just returned from training with the Maine Municipal Association.
“In talking to everyone there, Dale and the rest of the staff is held in such high esteem,” he said, and “recognized for such able management…I have big shoes to fill.”
Abernethy thanked everyone for their “kind words.” Then, with a nod to Selectmen Basile, Peter Vogell and David Unger, explained “the real secret” to his success as town manager: “The four of us worked as a team.”
Selectmen and community members finished the meeting with three “hurrahs” for Abernethy and a standing ovation.
In other business, Macdonald, representing the Promotions Committee, requested permission to hold a Pumpkin Fest on October 18, as part of the Foliage, Food & Wine Festival organized by Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, of which Castine is a member.
Still in its early planning, activities will include a beer tent, a pumpkin launch, a “pumpkin catapult challenge” at Fort George and other activities open to Peninsula children.
“There’s been [charges] that we’re not a child-friendly community. This should open it up,” said Macdonald.
Upcoming selectmen meetings
Monday, July 7, and Monday, July 14,
4 p.m., Emerson Hall.