GOULDSBORO — Town Manager Bryan Kaenrath will be stepping down from his post to take a job as the town manager for North Hampton, N.H., on March 9.
Kaenrath notified town officials on Jan. 25 of his plans.
“First of all, this has been a great experience for me. This town has been great,” Keanrath said in an interview. “I had a great board of selectmen … I hope I’m leaving this town better than I found it.”
He said his decision to leave wasn’t negative at all, and wasn’t based on anything other than a desire to live and work in a larger community. That’s always been a goal of his.
The town will be looking for a new manager, and is accepting applications for the position until the end of February.
“There may need to be — and I’ve already told the board this — an interim manager,” Kaenrath said. “So they don’t have to rush this and they can appoint someone who’s right for this town.”
After he graduated from the University of Maine in Orono, Kaenrath lived in the Portland area for about 11 years. This move is a way for him to reconnect with that part of the state, he said, as North Hampton is about 60 miles away.
Kaenrath has been Gouldsboro’s town manager since July 2015. Looking back, he said his main priorities had been to develop public outreach and community engagement. One initiative he undertook was to hold open office hours, when residents could stop by and talk to him about anything going on in the town.
“That public accessibility has been really important to me,” he said.
In a letter to the selectmen, Kaenrath detailed why his time in the town “has been among the best professional experiences of [his] life.”
“Perhaps my biggest challenge is that I still have some lingering big dreams of my youth in the back of my head and the ambitions that go along with that,” he wrote. “It’s sometimes hard for me to balance that with the commitment and appreciation I really want to show to the people and places that have become part of my life. But the ticking clock of life and an ever-present sense of urgency forces me to move along.”
Along with Dorcas Library Director Faith Lane, Kaenrath also launched an annual tree-lighting ceremony during the holiday season. He also pointed to the development of a new park on Main Street in Prospect Harbor and a sidewalk that will extend from Peninsula School to the Town Hall as examples of improvements that are taking place in the town.
He said he expects the town to have a plan in place for a new manager by March.