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Maker Mark Hawaiian Shirt

Maker Mark Hawaiian Shirt
Maker Mark Hawaiian Shirt


YORK, Maine — In a blue and white Hawaiian shirt, shorts and purple Converse All Stars, Steve Burns attended his final Selectboard meeting as town manager, a week away from his retirement.

“Looks like you’ve already got the wardrobe for it,” said Selectboard member Kinley Gregg. The board celebrated Burns’ 23 years of service to the town, the last eight as town manager. They presented him with an award thanking him for his time with York and expressed well-wishes on his next chapter.

“It’s been an honor working with you, and your leadership has been outstanding,” said Selectboard member Robert Palmer.

York Town Manager Steve Burns is retiring after 23 years working for the Seacoast town.

Burns, town manager since 2014, will have his last day Monday, Aug. 1. He submitted his notice for retirement in May, saying he intended to leave behind the stress of town government for a calmer line of work. A York resident, he said he looked forward to enjoying the town as a local rather than an official.

Monday night, he said he was surprised and appreciative of the kind words.

“It’s been my honor and my privilege to work here, and I thank each and every one of you,” Burns said.

He reflected on people who helped and worked with him over the years, describing Assistant Town Manager Kathryn Lagasse as “absolutely incredible.” To his assistant Diana Janetos he gave a cowbell, an inside joke from the town offices. Janetos, Burns explained, is a fan of Christopher Walken’s “more cowbell” skit from “Saturday Night Live.”

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Burns also said he left his personal cellphone number with his department heads and the Selectboard members, though he advised, “I don’t want to do the work” if called for help.

“I’m going to take August off and do nothing. I promise you, absolutely nothing,” Burns said.

Selectboard Chair Todd Frederick read over a list of accomplishments the town of York has seen under Burns’ leadership to touch on the “lasting footprint” Burns is leaving. Those included the construction of Short Sands Road connecting Route 1 to Ridge Road, a new bath house at Long Sands Beach, the passage of a town hall renovation and the first new police station since colonial times.

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“There’s certainly been a lot of great, in my view, advancements that York’s been able to make,” Frederick said.

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Board member Marylin McLaughlin thanked Burns for helping her become acquainted with York when she joined the board, and for his advocacy for policies like the town’s Proclamation against Racism, Discrimination and Bigotry.

“To make sure people find their place in town without regards to what they look like, where they came from, is one of the truly amazing things that you have done, and for that I thank you,” McLaughlin said.

“It’s been my honor and my privilege to work here, and I thank each and every one of you,” York Town Manager Steve Burns said.

A number of residents also spoke during public comment thanking Burns for his time as town manager. Charlie Black, one of the residents who spoke in public comment to wish Burns well, said town issues can be divisive but that they should never become personal.

“We’ve been on the opposite side of a couple of emotional, divisive issues here in town, and I just wanted to put it out here that I never took it personally, and I hope you never took it personally,” Black told Burns.

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Black playfully read from a list of job listings he prepared for Burns to consider. Those included doggy daycare at York Bark and Play, a jam maker at Stonewall Kitchen, a barista at Anthony’s and a pizza maker at Woody’s Brick Oven Pizza. He also noted the growth in the cannabis industry and that “budtenders” were in demand.

“That would probably be something that was more relaxing, I don’t know what the pay is,” Black said. “But again, I wish you luck and I hope you find something that is good for your soul.”

York Town Manager Steve Burns is retiring after 23 years working for the Seacoast town.

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: York, Maine praises outgoing Town Manager Steve Burns at final meeting


Maker Mark Hawaiian Shirt
Maker Mark Hawaiian Shirt

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