BRIDGTON — After years of attempting to fill the position, the town has selected a new community development director to serve the town.

Linda LaCroix grew up summering in Bridgton and is now excited to be living and working there. Courtesy photo

Linda LaCroix currently lives in Massachusetts and has a variety of professional experiences. She has worked in different municipalities and nonprofits, has done planning work, including capital planning, and worked as an elections clerk.

Town Manager Bob Peabody said the position has been vacant for a couple of years after the last person in the position did not continue after the probationary period ended. Since then, he has been trying to fill the job, but the Selectboard has not confirmed any of his other recommendations.

Peabody said he was impressed by the depth of LaCroix’s experience as well as her background.

We had several interviews with her, and I was very impressed by her ideas,” he said.

LaCroix grew up summering in Bridgton and said the town is “one of her favorite places.”

“There’s a lot more going on there than there was when I was growing up,” she said. “There’s really the opportunity to really do something.”

She would like to focus on housing as well as creating “good, clean, healthy jobs” and other opportunities for residents in order to bring young people to town and sustain the economy.

“There’s a lot to do,” LaCroix said. The town “could use some fresh eyes and a hand at seeing what we can do to make it grow and prosper for everyone.”

LaCroix received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont, where she studied political science and philosophy. She also has a master’s in business from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a master’s in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School and a Ph.D. in philosophy of mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She said it would be “arrogant of (her) to say what the proper goals are now” without first talking to the community.

My job first is to learn and listen and think and talk and plan and figure it out,” she said. Once she has talked to residents and delved into Bridgton’s history, she will begin to set goals for the future. 

LaCroix’s job description, Peabody said, is threefold and involves community development, town planning and economic development.

“She has a broad breadth, and I think she’s going to serve the town very well,” he said. “The town is very fortunate.”

LaCroix will begin in her new position on Nov. 7 and plans to move to town this weekend. She will be paid $68,000 a year.

She said she is most looking forward to working with the people in town and loves that Bridgton “hasn’t changed in respect to its incredible character.”

It’s my time to be able to serve and to make a difference for a place I love,” she said. “We will be able to do some really, really fun things.” 

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