John Mauro, who currently works in New Zealand, is the Windham Town Council’s final candidate for the town manager position. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

WINDHAM — Prospective town manager John Mauro said that as a native Mainer, “it’s a great time to come home.”

Mauro currently lives in New Zealand but grew up in Auburn.

At a meet and greet event June 21 at Town Hall, Mauro said that he and his young family “miss home. It’s hard to take the Maine out of me.”

He also finds Windham “irresistible,” with its proximity to both Portland and beautiful rural areas.

“I think that’s why (the town) is growing so much. That combination is relatively irresistible,” he said.

Mauro added that he likes the scale of the town and being able to know everyone.

When asked what issues he would focus on were he to be selected for the job, he said “I do know that Windham does struggle with where are we going in the long term and how does each decision on the way get us there. We’re growing pretty quickly. How do we harness that growth and translate it into the outcome that people want and protect the things we care about?” 

Windham has been searching for a new town manager since October 2018 when then-Town Manager Tony Plante left with a $175,000 severance package amid turmoil on the council about his job performance.

Candidate John Mauro speaks with resident Jeanne Rhein at a meet and greet event June 21. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

Plante was replaced by interim Town Manager Don Gerrish, and the Town Council had originally expected to appoint a permanent manager in January.

After advertising the position in November and receiving only 18 applications, the town decided to reopen the application process later.

Out of 21 applications that the town received in the second round, Mauro is only candidate  who was brought back for further interviews.

Mauro graduated from Edward Little High School and received a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Middlebury College in Vermont. He is now the chief sustainability officer for the Auckland Council in New Zealand.

Resident Beth Hall said she hopes that when the town chooses a manager, “when I have a concern or idea about something in the community and I bring it to his attention, that that person would be respectable enough to get back to me with a legitimate answer.”

“I’m wicked pleased to think that he is from Maine,” she continued. “His roots being just in the Auburn area is close enough to me to feel like he is connected. Already I’m feeling like he has a passion for this area and the state of Maine.” 

Councilor Donna Chapman explained that councilors would only select a town manager when they feel strongly about him.

If we feel strongly about a candidate and that they can do what’s best for the entire town of Windham, then we’ll have a manager,” she said. 

On June 21, Mauro toured the town’s municipal facilities, met employees and was interviewed by the town’s department heads. The council also conducted an additional interview with him that evening. He and the council are still discussing the position, Gerrish said June 25, and hope to come to a final decision within a week.


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