Originally published in Castine Patriot, March 9, 2017
Penobscot selectman steps down
Shorey looks back on 25 years of service
Stanley Shorey sits at his desk in the selectmen’s office one last time. He has stepped down from the position after 25 years of service.
by Monique Labbe
Stanley Shorey moved to Penobscot from Verona Island in 1972. In the next 45 years, he would become a volunteer firefighter, a Boy Scout leader, basketball coach, substitute teacher, head of the maintenance department at the nursing home, and the 1997 Maine bus driver of the year. He would also become a member of the board of selectmen, a post he stepped down from this year after 25 years of service.
“It was just time,” said Shorey, whose days as a selectman came to an end at the completion of town meeting on March 7. “I retired this year, and it’s just time for me to spend more time with the grandkids and the family.”
Shorey was elected to the board of selectmen in 1992, joining the ranks of Paul Bowen, Arnold “Bing” Gross and Jim Henry. At the time, Shorey said there were some things going on in the town that he was not fond of and wanted to be part of the solution.
Over the next 25 years, Shorey had a hand in creating reserve accounts for equipment and building funds, as well as a town hall restoration account and newer, factory fire trucks for the department.
“We’ve really done a lot in those years,” said Shorey. “It just goes to show what we can do when we work together.”
Shorey has become a fixture in the community, not only because of his work as a selectman but because of his involvement with the town’s youth programs. Shorey said being a bus driver, in particular, allowed him to get to know several generations of Penobscot residents.
“I loved driving the bus,” said Shorey. “I got to know everybody. I think I was hauling the fourth generation by the time I got done.”
Many of the students Shorey drove to and from school every day still live in Penobscot.
“In fact, I just ran into one the other day at Northern Bay Market,” said Shorey. “He came up to me and asked if I knew who he was. He looked familiar but I had to ask. It happens all the time.”
As a resident of Penobscot for over four decades, Shorey has seen many changes in the community, from declining student enrollment at the school to the closing of the Northern Bay Residential Center, which is scheduled to shut its doors this month.
“I was the head of the maintenance department there for several years. It’s sad to see it go, it’s a big part of our community,” he said.
Despite the changes, Shorey said his town, and the people in it, are the reason he felt so strongly about getting involved 25 years ago.
“The people in Penobscot are wonderful people,” he said. “There are very few people I can honestly say I have a dislike for.”
Shorey’s desk in the selectmen’s office has been cleaned off, and the hand-painted wooden plaque with his name on it has been removed, but, he said, his days in the office are not over.
“I’ll give them time to transition [without me], but then I’ll start coming to meetings Tuesday nights again. I don’t think I can ever be done completely,” said Shorey.
Until then, Shorey looks forward to taking part in his other passions: hunting, fishing, and working on classic cars.
“I have a few that I’ve worked on, but it’s time to start restoring them,” said Shorey. “I’d like to get one or two of them done, now that I’ve got the time.”