Old Orchard Beach Assistant Town Manager V Louise Reid, who is retiring, and Town Manager Larry Mead display a wall hanging presented to Reid at an open house on Friday Sept. 18. Tammy Wells Photo

OLD ORCHARD BEACH – V. Louise Reid has been this community’s assistant town manager for 17 years. Now, she’s retired – almost. Technically, she’s still in the position until November, and is enjoying weeks of vacation that she didn’t take while on the job. 

On Friday, Reid greeted staff and well-wishers who gathered for a surprise open house in her honor. 

Reid has worked for six town managers in her 17-year tenure as assistant. 

One of them – the last, is Larry Mead, who will depart himself on Jan. 2, after seven years at the helm of the municipality. 

Mead remembers calling to ask a question and explaining to Reid his intention to apply for the town manager job.

As well as her dedication to the Town of Old Orchard Beach in her capacity as assistant town manager, V Louise Reid, who is retiring, was also lauded for her dedication to causes like the community’s Animal Watch organization. Tammy Wells Photo

“Are you crazy,” he recalled Reid asking as he spoke at the open house, held in the bays of the Old Orchard Beach Fire Station. 

Reid first came to this seaside community more than 60 years ago, with her husband Robert. They were the community’s first Salvation Army officers. She later worked for the chair of a multinational company for several years and then returned to Old Orchard Beach, when she again worked for the Salvation ArmyIn 2003, she accepted the job as the municipality’s assistant town manager. 

A woman of faith, she told those assembled that God has a plan for everyone. 

“I believe that in all ways acknowledge him, and he will director your paths, she said. 

Before the public dropped by to say hello, municipal employees and other colleagues enjoyed lunch, told stories, and remembered their interactions with Reid. 

“She was always very helpful,” said Jerry Gosselin, the executive director of the Ocean Park Association “She provided great advice and a listening ear and was always ready to jump in and find a solution. 

Mead thanked Reid for her loyalty, kind words, encouraging notes and more. 

“(She) has the ability to lift people’s spirits,” Mead said. 

Reid, wearing a crown bestowed by well-wishers,  was presented with a new laptop computer as a parting gift, a contribution to Animal Watch in her honor and other tokens of appreciation.

“Thank you for this, for the gifts and most of all, your friendship,” she said. 

Although she’s retiring, Reid will be continuing to find solutions, at least for the next year. 

She will  remain engaged in Old Orchard Beach municipal business as a town councilor – Reid is unopposed in her bid to fill the last year of a term previously held by Joseph Thornton, who left the council when he moved from the community earlier this year. 

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