Mike Pardue has been named Wells town manager by the select board and will take up his duties there later this fall.  Courtesy photo

WELLS – Back in January when Mike Pardue announced his decision to retire from his job as Kennebunk town manager, he planned to reengage his municipal and corporate management consulting firm. He wasn’t looking for a new gig as a town manager.

But, he said, he recently had an opportunity to talk with the select board in Wells about the available position there.

And on Tuesday, July 26, Wells board members announced Pardue as their unanimous choice for town manager in a news release posted on social media.

“The select board, after receiving and reviewing applications for the manager’s position felt that Mr. Pardue, who had recently announced his retirement from Kennebunk, had many of the qualities and experience Wells was seeking,” the Wells Select Board news release said.

“After learning of some of their goals and objectives, it was clear to me that my background melded nicely with their vision,” said Pardue. “This sparked my desire to continue to work in the public sector and in particular, the town of Wells. I look forward to drawing from my past experience in municipal government to help Wells move forward in the years to come.”

Pardue has served as town manager in Kennebunk for six years. He earlier served as was manager of police services in Kennebunk for about 18 months and later returned for a stint in human resources. All told he has worked in various management capacities for municipalities and companies for 40 years.


“Mike has an extensive and diverse background that allows him to have vast experience and real insight into almost every facet of municipal government, said Wells Select Board chair John MacLeod III. “His skill set, coupled with his positive reputation and his demonstrated ability to effectively interact with staff, citizens and the business community, coupled with his ability to handle numerous projects simultaneously, is what caused the board to meet with Mike.”

Wells’ previous town manager, Larissa Crockett, departed in late May after serving nearly two years in the position. Bill Giroux is serving as interim town manager.

The Wells Select Board was poised to sign a three-year contract with Pardue on Tuesday, Aug. 2. He is to start his job there on Nov. 14.

He told the Kennebunk board in January that he planned to depart this fall.

“My rationale for targeting November as my retirement date was very intentional as my objective was to provide Kennebunk plenty of time to recruit a new manager, ensuring that person was onboard at the inception of the next budget cycle,” Pardue said.

He said his interest and engagement with the town of Wells has a long history.


“During the 1990s, while I served as chief of police and town manager in Ogunquit, I collaborated frequently with my contemporaries in Wells as we discussed ways to share in resources and service delivery,” Pardue said in an email. “I spent time in the schools, getting to know students, teachers and administrators as Wells and Ogunquit comprised a consolidated school district. I attended numerous Wells High School athletic events, sometimes even being a part of the Time Warner Cable broadcast team that covered Wells High School basketball and football games. ”

He said he has been a member of Old Marsh County Club in Wells for several years and continues to spend time there with his family on weekends. Pardue and his wife Karen frequent many businesses in Wells, he said, and have gotten to know owners, many of their long-term staff and patrons, and are always made to feel at home.

“I am continually impressed with the level of “commitment to community” and the sense of “genuineness” I feel during my interactions with the people of Wells,” Pardue said. “I look forward to fostering more relationships with residents and business owners alike and promoting the “at home feel” Wells has always afforded me and my family.

“Wells is a thriving community. I look very forward to working with the select board and the dedicated municipal staff of Wells as we work collaboratively to provide the best service possible for the residents, businesses entities and visitors of the town.”

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