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Phillips town manager announces retirement

Town Manager Elaine Hubbard

Town Manager Elaine Hubbard

PHILLIPS - Town Manager Elaine Hubbard announced she is retiring after six years at the helm. Her last day will be March 4.

Hubbard, a Phillips native, started working in 2006 at the town office as temporary help when Karen Olivieri was appointed town manager. That temp work turned into a part-time job as the town's tax collector. In 2010, Hubbard was appointed to serve as town manager after James Collins left, along with the duties she accumulated as treasurer and tax collector along with way.

The town, with a population of 1,018, has seen its share of tumultuous times. In 2008, Collins, was the third manager to work in Phillips that year. During that same year, the 30 voters who attended the annual town meeting refused to support the proposed budget. The town was effectively shut down for two weeks until five times the number of voters turned out at a second town meeting to pass an identical budget.

Over the next few years, voters debated whether the town manager form of government was needed in Phillips but ultimately Hubbard, who first served on an interim basis, was hired as the full-time manager, treasurer and tax collector.

Last month, 14 of the 17-member Phillips Municipal Volunteer Fire Department announced their intention to resign following the decision by Hubbard to appoint Stephen Naas as the new chief to complete six months left on the former chief's, James Gould's term. Gould resigned in December. The fire fighters who resigned said they perceived a lack of input into the selection of the new chief.

They reversed their decision after Naas, a member of the Strong Fire Department, resigned and Hubbard reopened the application process. On Wednesday, she said interviews will be conducted at the end of this week with a selectman in attendance and a possible candidate on board by next week.

Her decision to retire has been in the works for some time and has nothing to do with the fire chief situation, Hubbard said.

"I've been in this job a long time and under a lot more stress than this," she said. "Everything worked out that this is the best time." Hubbard said has upcoming family events she does not want to miss.

The process for finding a  new town manager will start immediately.

"I hope whoever steps in next will help move the town forward; keep the progress going from here. It's really been a pleasure (to work for the town). There are very, very good people in town that are working hard," Hubbard said.

"I am very excited to begin the next phase of my life," she added.

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8 Responses »

  1. You will be sorely missed by many Elaine. Very tactful and well thought out responses. We admire your perseverance and professionalism during what we know had to be very trying situations at times. Wishing you the best of luck in your retirement and thank you for leading our town for the past six plus years. Your knowledge will not easily be replaced!

  2. Good luck to you Elaine.. Retirement is great.. Wishing u the best of luck.. Enjoy your family time u deserve it. Being a manager is never easy.. I believe that u did the best u could for the town with the situations u faced.. My susggestion would be that one of those " reversed there decision guys" step up and run for town manager.. Then things could get handled "their way" .. Best of luck and thanks for your service..

  3. Best of luck in your retirement. Phillips has been a tough town to manage and its tax base has led to a lot of frugal decisions that have caught up with and surpassed the years of non funding. State cutbacks have only inflamed the situation. Leave with your head held high knowing that many of us in the profession feel you have done due diligence with the tools you had at hand and always spent dollars with the taxpayers in mind.

  4. Theres alot that goes with that job...it's not easy.and as the old saying goes you can't please everyone. I know the feeling of being on that end of the stick...tumultous times ...groups of people against you for you trying to do what is right for your town. I can remember a time when everyone was happy she was the town manager and what a godsend she was...lets not forget taking on the responsiblilty of everything in a time when the town needed someone..she did that...she lost her husband and the town stayed running ...I do think it is time for a change but Judge Not that Ye be not Judged ..thank you Elaine for your service and enjoy your retirement all the best to you in your future,

  5. Best of luck to you in retirement. To the "outsider" who left a response about the fire fighters who "reversed their decisions" to resign saying that one of them should run for town manager so that they could run things their own way, I feel without knowing ALL of the details surrounding that situation with the Fire Department, such comments are unnecessary & unwarranted. This article was to inform the people of Elaine's upcoming retirement not to bash any individual fire fighter or the Department as a whole. Once again, Elaine please enjoy your retirement & your family time as well.

  6. I wish you and yours all the best and much happiness in the years ahead.

  7. I wish nothing but the best for Elaine and her retirement. I agree with Jon Wilbur with all he said...
    Now I think instead of hiring a new manager I think the Phillips taxpayers should take a good long look into maybe instead of having a town manager, we do it like strong or Avon does..it may save us money in the long run, but what do I know?? Just an idea...

    And OUTSIDER, your comments about the fire department was not called for at all...I know, freedom of speech, but that shouldn't be in your case with idiotic statements like that

  8. Many little towns in this state run just fine with selectmen doing the job instead of wasting money on a town manager. Just saying!

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