Old Orchard Beach Town Manager Larry Mead says he plans to retire in November. Courtesy photo

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Larry Mead has been  town manager in Old Orchard Beach for seven years, a resident for eight. While he’s enjoyed being the town manager for the community he lives in, at age 67 Mead has made the decision to retire. He announced his decision publicly at the June 16 Town Council meeting.

Mead, who plans to remain a resident of Old Orchard Beach, said he plans to step down some time in November, after the Nov. 3 election, but he’s flexible and will stay until a new manager is lined up.

Mead said he has spent 41 years in working in municipal government, starting with the city of Portland in 1979. He held a variety of positions with Maine’s largest city, first with Portland’s Health and Human Services Department and ending his tenure as assistant city manager. In 2006, Mead was selected as town manager for Kennebunkport and came to Old Orchard Beach in 2013.

In the current climate with coronavirus restrictions putting a damper on business in the summer resort town, Mead said, “it’s a challenging time to be a town manager.”

However, he said, for the most part he’s enjoyed his tenure in the town with a year round population of about 9,000 that in normal years balloons up to about 75,000 with summer tourists.

“One of the things I feel most proud about,” Mead said in a June 18 telephone interview, “is bringing a period of stability into this position.”

Prior to his being hired, Mead said, there had been “a sustained period of turmoil,” with about six town managers serving with the city over only 10 years, and a recall of most of the Town Council members.

He said he was happy “to lend my years of experience and skills to help with this. … It’s been a good, productive seven years as town manager.” Old Orchard Beach now has a “good reputation as a good place to be a town manager,” he said, which will help in the search for his replacement.

On June 16, the Town Council approved entering an agreement with Eaton Peabody Consulting Group to manage the recruitment process for the position of Town Manager in the amount of $6,000. The council was scheduled to hold a workshop on the process for recruiting a new town manager on June 23.

In looking back over some of his accomplishments in Old Orchard Beach, Mead said he’s proud to have played a part in the Libby Library reconstruction, as well as the growth of the town with the construction of more subdivisions that have brought in more year round residents. Old Orchard Beach has attracted new people, he said. “It’s a place people want to live.”

In addition, he said, as town manager he’s been able to to assist in securing federal funds to help with some major projects such as on the Cascade Road, on Old Orchard Street in the downtown and at the “halfway” intersection at Temple and Saco avenues.

As to his plans for the future, Mead said, he plans to do things he hasn’t time for. “I really enjoy hiking and backpacking and am looking forward to doing that.” In addition, he said, “I’ll find a cause I can lend my time and expertise to. I’m looking forward to that.”

Mead is married to Denise Clavette, the Planning and Development director of the city of Saco.

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