Bill Giroux has served as Standish town manager for one year. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

STANDISH — In the year that has passed since he took over as town manager, Bill Giroux says Standish is “getting back to business. It’s doing the business of town government as efficiently and financially responsible as possible.”

Giroux was appointed as town manager Nov. 13, 2018, after serving as interim town manager for two months. The town’s previous manager, Kris Tucker, was fired that July. The council terminated Tucker’s contract without cause, and he later made allegations against an unnamed town employee.

Giroux said this week that his main goal when he took office “was to try to settle things down.”

“You have core functions in government. You try not to get torn too far afield of those,” he said. “When you start to get dragged into fights, that doesn’t make for good government. My sense was that the majority of the council, when I came, was anxious to kind of get things toned down. So was the staff. I think it’s settled down nicely, and we’re doing the business that we should be doing.”

“Bill’s done an outstanding job,” said Council Vice Chairwoman Kimberly Pomerleau. “He’s an excellent manager.”

Giroux previously served as the city manager of Bath for 11 years before stepping down in July 2017. H was the town manager of Bowdoinham for six years before that.

The biggest project now facing Standish, he said, is the possibility of a new community center.

A steering committee is exploring the prospect, and “the goal will be for them to prep a package for the council to look at next summer with the idea that the council might send something to the voters at the presidential election,” he said. 

In March, the 2019 Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment and Planning Final Report showed that Standish residents are interested in creating a stronger sense of community and that the parks and rec department should focus on improving communication and visibility.

Over 70 percent of participants agreed or strongly agreed that Standish needs a town-supported indoor recreation/community center.

We’ll see if people want it or not. If they do, we’ll have fun putting it together. But if they don’t, we’ll move on,” Giroux said. “I’m comfortable with what the voters decide one way or another.”

He plans to update the town’s comprehensive plan in the next few years.

“That plan will look at whether or not we should hold growth back a little or let it continue the way it’s going,” he said.

In addition, the town is discussing whether it will allow certain recreational marijuana uses and was scheduled to have a workshop on Nov. 20 to discuss the issue.

Giroux has also worked to address issues of understaffing by hiring a new code enforcement officer and planner, contracting a full-time IT person and converting those working in public safety from per diem to full time.

Everyone’s working hard, and we all have the same goals,” Pomerleau said. “Everything is running smoothly, and I’m just so happy with the whole council and the way everything is working.”

Looking forward, Giroux said his goal is to “try to improve the town as best I can and in the meantime try to keep taxes at a reasonable level. Nothing big or flashy.”

Town Council Chairman Brian Libby did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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