Biddeford City Manager John Bubier announced Tuesday he will step down in June after leading the city for a decade, but he won’t be going far.

Bubier, who guided the city into an era of redevelopment and growth, will continue to work part time for Biddeford, with a focus on economic development projects.

“In those 10 years (as manager) I have seen tremendous change in the city, both in attitudes toward Biddeford as a great source of potential and as a place where new growth and repurposing of old mills has taken hold,” Bubier said.

Bubier, 70, will stay on the job until June 30 when his current contract ends, then will assist with the transition to a new manager. He said he is eager to tackle economic development projects – something “near and dear” to his heart – at an exciting time for the former mill town.

“Biddeford over the past 10 years has pushed itself and pulled and thrust itself into being a premier small New England city,” he said.

Bubier has signed a contract with the city through 2018 to work on economic development projects that the current staff does not have time to handle on its own. He will work 30 hours a week and be paid about $75,000 a year.

As city manager, Bubier was paid $128,000 a year. He oversaw nearly 300 full- and part-time employees and a combined municipal and school budget of about $75 million.

Mayor Alan Casavant said Bubier’s expertise and leadership have been instrumental in bringing positive change to the city, which struggled for years after its textile mills closed down.

“He loves Biddeford and he’s devoted his heart and soul to moving it forward,” Casavant said.

He said keeping Bubier at City Hall will allow the development staff to stay on top of economic development issues. Bubier’s work will include regional transportation, utility and broadband projects, a downtown transportation center project, overseeing the city’s legislative agenda and establishing a council of mill owners and downtown property owners.

“This is a shrewd move for the city of Biddeford,” Casavant said.

Bubier is the third manager of Biddeford, the sixth-largest city in Maine. He previously worked in municipal management in Portland, Boothbay, Lisbon and Bath. He also worked in the private sector in advertising and marketing, and served for nine years as executive director of the Greater Portland Council of Governments.

The City Council will appoint a new city manager, but first must decide on a hiring process that could include asking the Maine Municipal Association for help with the search. Casavant said he is confident the city will see interest from quality candidates because of the excitement around development in Biddeford.

“I suspect that people are going to be very serious about coming here,” he said.

City Council President John McCurry, who has served on the council twice during Bubier’s tenure, praised the city manager for his work.

“He’s a very dedicated individual and cares a lot about the city and what’s going on here,” he said.

McCurry said he is glad to see Bubier stay on with the city in a part-time capacity.

“We have a lot of economic development going on in town, so he will be a big asset,” McCurry said. “We don’t want to lose that momentum.”

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

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