Town Administrator to Retire in March

After nearly 12 years in the position, Marion’s Town Administrator Paul Dawson announced that he will retire next year during the November 6 Marion Board of Selectmen meeting.

“After a lot of soul searching and a lot of looking at my family situation, I’ve decided that … I will be retiring from my position effective March 15, 2019,” Dawson stated, leaving the board four months to search for his replacement.

Dawson recalled his cancer diagnosis back in February 2016, saying that since then he has been living with some side effects of the surgery, and told the board that his wife as of late has also been experiencing some health concerns.

“This has been a very difficult decision for me,” Dawson said. “And to quote the famous philosopher Kenny Rogers,” Dawson quipped, “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em, and for me the time has come to fold ‘em.”

Dawson thanked the Town and all its employees and volunteers over the years and vowed, “I’m not going anywhere.

“I will never leave the town high and dry,” said Dawson. “I am happy to participate in any way the board wants me to moving forward. … I’ll only be a phone call away.”

“We appreciate your service and we understand some of the personal challenges … and we respect your decision,” said Selectman Jon Waterman.

Dawson also announced the resignation of Gary Carreiro, treasurer/collector of 11 years. Carreiro has taken a position with the Town of Dartmouth.

The board will hold a special meeting to discuss these two personnel matters, and also to discuss the recently released DPW Organizational Structure Report so the Town can move forward with the recruitment of a new DPW director.

In other news, the selectmen voted to appropriate $27,737 in remaining Community Preservation Act funds to execute a four-phase proposal to stabilize the exterior “envelope” of the Marion Town House.

Dawson said T2 Architects has devised an initial project broken down into four phases – assessment, schematic design, cost estimating, and report – in order to proceed with the preservation of the Town House, as Dawson put it, “in a more logical and manageable fashion.”

While consulting with the same team that performed the initial study of the Town House renovation project, Phase 1 will be an updated assessment of exterior deterioration, air and water filtration, and windows. Phase 2 will result in updated drawings for roof replacement, window and door replacement, siding, and trim, and waterproofing of the basement. Phase 3 will develop a cost estimate for each element of the work and determine how to phase the projects over time. Phase 4 will be a final report with plans, section and diagrams, costs, and a schedule of implementation.

“Whatever we need to do to protect the envelope of the building,” said Dawson. “I think we can all agree that that is the most logical first step to take.”

The cost of this endeavor cannot exceed the $27,737 amount appropriated that night. The funding will come from the remaining $140,000 in CPC money already appropriated.

“It seems to accomplish what we wanted,” said Waterman.

Also during the meeting, the board continued the public hearing for the Board of Assessors’ reclassification hearing until November 20 because, according to Hills, the assessors were not yet ready to hold the meeting.

In other matters, the Town will offer a short-term solution for leaf disposal for residents, possibly starting as early as this weekend of November 10-11 and continuing until the end of November and possibly longer, if needed. The time for residents to bring leaves (no brush or other debris) and certainty of the dates has yet to be determined, so residents should check the Town website frequently as the details, once finalized, will be posted.

There will be a recycling workshop for residents on Wednesday, November 14, at 7:00 pm at the Marion Music Hall.

The next regular meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen is scheduled for November 20 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

Marion Board of Selectmen

By Jean Perry

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