Rudy, pictured at Hallowell City Hall in August 2019. Kennebec Journal file photo

GRAY — Nate Rudy has been attending Town Council meetings and meeting with longtime Town Manager Deb Cabana as he gears up to succeed her on March 1.

The Town Council announced last month that Rudy was selected from 22 candidates to replace Cabana, who is retiring next month. Rudy is wrapping up his final month as Hallowell City Manager, a position he has held since 2016.

Rudy spoke with the Lakes Region Weekly this week about the experiences he brings to the role, how he’s working with Cabana to create a smooth transition and his goals and priorities for the town. Excerpts from that conversation appear below.

Q: How has your experience as city manager for Hallowell and your other experiences prepared you for this position?

A: I have a background in planning, real estate, IT and business that informs my approach to community economic development, which I have been practicing professionally for 11 years now. I’ve been managing teams and projects for over 20 years, and I try to read about and keep up on trends and best practices in municipal planning and governance. … No two days are the same in local government!

Q: You’re joining the town in the middle of budget season. What do you hope to accomplish in your first three months on the job?

A: My goal is to learn about the departments and their needs for the coming year, and their budget and capital investment projections for the next three to five years. … Our shared goal is to provide the level of public service and safety that residents are accustomed to, while keeping costs under control.

I’ve been attending Town Council meetings and working with Deb to learn about the pressing issues, so that I can be better prepared once I start the job in March. From there I plan to meet with town department heads and staff, community leaders and committee chairs and members to get the “big picture” and the details of specific challenges and opportunities on which Gray has been working. Thanks to leadership from the Town Council, Deb and staff, I feel like I am coming to Gray at a good time, and there’s a long list of great opportunities ahead of us.

Q: What are your long-term goals?

A: I’m interested in helping develop the Gray Village area and to make it a fun, vibrant, bike-ped-friendly town center. I love that Gray is committed to preserving open and natural spaces and that Gray has so much to offer residents looking for a convenient location in Maine that has its own special places, community programs and recreational opportunities.

Q: What excites you most about the job and coming to Gray?

A: I’m impressed by the strong sense of camaraderie on staff and the professionalism I have experienced from Deb and the other town staff I have met and worked with.

Q: Do you have plans to move to Gray?

A: I just bought a house in Readfield last summer, so it may be a while before I can seriously consider a move, but I am familiar with the Gray area … I like to ski and surf fish, so living in Gray where I could be in driving distance from a beach or a mountain has a lot of appeal.

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