Yarmouth Town Manager Nat Tupper is retiring in January after 32 years on the job.

Tupper’s announcement last week came as a surprise to the council, according to Chairman David Craig, who said the search will get underway for an interim manager and a search committee will be formed to find Tupper’s permanent replacement.

“It’s not just another town manager retiring,” Craig said. “People really care about him, and he really cares about the town. It’s pretty deep, it’s pretty emotional.”

Over the last three decades, Tupper has become a “fixture” in Yarmouth, he said.


Tupper, 66, said he’ll miss “just about everything” about the job, but it’s time for new leadership in town.

“After a while you become the institution, and that’s not what I want,” he told The Forecaster.


The job can be all-encompassing, he said, and he looks forward to figuring out what else he enjoys.

He began his career in municipal government in 1980 as town manager of Winter Harbor. From there, he moved on to town manager positions in Livermore Falls and Barre, Vermont.

When Tupper, a South Portland native, took the Yarmouth job in 1991, it felt like “coming home,” he said. He and his wife Judy watched their three children grow up in the Yarmouth community.

“It’s been a great place to raise a family. I’ve never wanted to be anywhere else,” he said.

As town manager, Tupper’s ushered in new schools, land conservation, the return of bus service to town and economic development among other accomplishments, though he humbly says it’s the work of an excellent staff, Town Council and community that has kept the town growing.

“The people I work with are fantastic, and it’s such a lovely community,” Tupper said.

Tupper has won numerous awards for his work and leadership, including the 2013 Linc Stackpole Manager of the Year Award from the Maine Town, City and County Management Association.

“It will be different without Nat,” Craig said. “He’s the best. Every time there’s a difficult problem, he thinks about it and comes up with a creative solution.”

Craig plans to meet with town staff  next week to discuss ideas on how to move forward, as well as to offer some reassurance during the transition period, he said.

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