BRUNSWICK — A number of vacant positions and a relatively high turnover are putting a strain on several Brunswick departments, requiring some officials to pick up the slack until the jobs are filled.

“It’s always hard when senior people are retiring or people are leaving,” town manager John Eldridge said. “It’s a time-consuming process, some of us have had to pick of different pieces” of other jobs during the lengthy recruitment period, he added.

Brunswick is short an economic development director, town assessor and facilities manager. The public works director position was filled by Jay Astle, former facilities manager at the beginning of the month, leaving his position open.

Town Manager John Eldridge

Previous director Mike Crafts, who was only there from July to January said in his resignation letter that he wanted to focus on his family and was not able to devote the time to the public works department that it required.

Astle has been facilities manager since 2016 and “knows the town,” Eldridge said. While he is still working both positions during a transition period, Eldridge said that with Astle’s public works background in Cambridge, Massachusetts and in Yarmouth, he was “confident he’ll pick it up quickly” and help the department organize some of its procedures and improve fleet maintenance. The town facilities manager position has been advertised but not filled.

Linda Smith, former economic development director, started in 2014 and stayed there for about four years before she retired in January. Since then she has been working part-time and likely will help train her replacement. They are still in the interview process looking for someone to fill that role, Eldridge said.

Justin Hennessey only served as assessor from August to December 2018 before he returned to his previous job as the assessor in Topsham. “We would have loved to have kept (Hennessey) but wish him well,” Eldridge said. There has been progress filling the role, though, and a candidate is expected to be announced early next week, he added.

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