BAR HARBOR — Town manager Dana Reed resigned on Tuesday, reaching a separation agreement with the town council.
Reed, who had a year left on his contract, will work until the end of the day Thursday, May 8 before he exits office for good. Councilors voted 6-1 to sign the separation agreement, with Bob Garland casting the sole minority vote.
“After 27 years of dedicated service to the town, Dana Reed has concluded that his presence is a hindrance rather than a help to our community,” council chairman Ruth Eveland said. “His critics, right or not, made him the focus of frustrations in our community.”
Reed read from a prepared statement. “While I have enjoyed my time here, the political climate has degenerated to the point that my mere presence in the town manager’s office is preventing meaningful progress on the multitude of exciting and important projects we have before us,” he said.
“Consequently, I will step down on May 8, to allow this beautiful and unique community, for which I care so deeply, to overcome the dysfunctional, divisive and destructive attitudes of late and restore the atmosphere of collaboration and productivity for which we are so well known.”
Reed thanked the many town officials, town staffers and citizens and his wife, friends and family for their help and support over the years.
He had been facing intense pressure this spring from a vocal group of citizens who took to Facebook on a page entitled “Bar Harbor Citizens for Regime Change.” Some commenters on that site have been critical about everything from his handling of personnel matters to his length of tenure. The calls for his departure, which began in earnest after he fired former police chief Nate Young in February, have only grown louder as the town council has, over the course of seven private meetings in the past two months, considered Reed’s contract.
Reed started as town manager in November of 1986.