BAR HARBOR — Town councilors were told in no uncertain terms Tuesday that they should think long and hard before renewing Town Manager Dana Reed’s contract.
About three dozen residents filled council chambers at the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting, and while just several spoke during the brief open comment session, their message was clear: after nearly 30 years as the executive of the town, it’s time for Reed to go.
“For a lot of us, we firmly agree that town is, to some degree, stagnating,” resident Matt Hochman said during his comments. “I just think it may be time for the town to get some fresh air, and it needs to start from the top.”
Town councilors are in the midst of considering a contract extension for Reed. Reed’s current agreement with the town places him as town manager until June 2015. As specified in his contract, councilors every spring are to consider a two-year extension, which, if approved this time around, would place him as town manager until June 2017.
Councilors have been meeting in executive session, which are permitted for personnel matters, to discuss contract negotiations since the beginning of this month. Tuesday night’s session, scheduled for after the close of the regular meeting, was their third.
Several residents who spoke Tuesday decried the private meetings and said that citizens had much to say on the matter and that they had a right to be heard.
Frustration with Reed and with town councilors has been percolating to the surface since Reed fired former police chief Nate Young in January. Councilors subsequently upheld the move in February.