News Feature

Castine
Originally published in Castine Patriot, January 17, 2019
Castine town manager to retire

A five year career

Jimmy Goodson, pictured here in 2014 upon his hiring, will retire later this year as the Castine Town Manager and Code Enforcement Officer.

Penobscot Bay Press file photo

by Monique Labbe

After five years on the job, Jimmy Goodson has made the decision to retire from his post as town manager and code enforcement officer.

Goodson announced his decision to the members of the board of selectmen on January 9. His retirement will not take effect until July, and he will spend the next six months continuing his work and, when the time comes, training his successor.

“I was hiking with my cousin around Acadia last summer, and he had just retired and sold his orthodontics practice. I started thinking, ‘well how much longer am I going to be able to do [things like hiking],’ and the decision started to become clear,” said Goodson. “I want to do these things while I can.”

Goodson was a transplant from Alabama, and moved his family to Castine in 2002 after “falling in love” with the town and summering there starting in 1991.

Having experienced the town as both a tourist and a “year rounder” Goodson had a unique perspective of town needs and future planning when he took over the position from Dale Albernethy in 2014.

“I think I had a tourism perspective that someone from the outside coming in as a town manager would not have had,” said Goodson. “I knew what attracted us to Castine, and I also knew what made us decide to live here year round.”

Goodson has worked closely with groups dedicated to economic development, which he says are “critical” to the future of attracting year round residents to Castine. Things like better internet speeds and affordable housing have been at the forefront of those discussions, as well as businesses in the downtown area that are open all 12 months of the year.

“We’ve had places like Compass Rose and Mary Margaret’s that have dedicated themselves to being year round businesses, which is so important here,” said Goodson. “The life blood of our community are the people who are here more than three or four months of the year.”

It is Goodson’s hope that younger families will start to find their way to Castine year round, which would boost the school enrollment and start future generations in town with an aging population. He is also hopeful that younger people will start to become more involved in town politics and the annual town meeting.

“I think it’s important to get younger people involved in boards and committees. I would love to see someone young take over my role, maybe even a woman. If you’ve got vibrant leadership, people will be attracted to town municipality,” he said.

The groundwork for a new town manager search has already begun, as Goodson has reached out to a consultant to help them begin the process.

“It’s really important to not operate in a vacuum,” said Goodson. “There is such a collection of knowledge here, with Karen [Motycka] and Sue [Macomber] who have both been here for 20 years, and people in the community. I hope whoever takes over is able to use that to their advantage.”

As for his retirement plans?

“I’m going to become a tourist again,” said Goodson. “I have a boat, and I put it in the water once last summer. This year, I plan on getting out there, going to Belfast, North Haven, wherever. I’m looking forward to that.”