BAR HARBOR — Bar Harbor Planning Director Robert Osborne is retiring Friday after 2-1/2 years in the position.
Osborne, a Pennsylvania native, graduated from Penn State with a degree in planning. Job opportunities were scarce around him, so he began to look elsewhere.
“When I got out of grad school, it was hard to find a job,” Osborne said. “One of the local community colleges subscribed to newspapers up and down the east coast.”
“There was an opportunity in Bangor, I needed a job, and there I went,” he said.
Working in Bar Harbor was very different from his previous positions in Bangor and his hometown of Hampden.
“It’s a very specific set of circumstances here,” Osborne said. “Very few coastal communities have as much coastline as Bar Harbor does,” and few other towns have national parks in them.
One of the biggest adjustments was getting used to the town meeting form of government.
“It’s a somewhat challenging form factor to govern under,” he said. “There’s a lot of preparation to have things ready well in advance.”
He hesitated to take credit single-handedly for the accomplishments during his tenure, but said one of the things he’s proudest of is a grant secured earlier this year for some new floats at the pier.
Town Manager Cornell Knight said that the town is pursuing other options after Osborne’s retirement.
“Right now, I’m looking at some other options,” Knight said in an interview. “We might advertise for a planner, look in the region for another planner or see what’s available for contract.”
No decision has yet been made to appoint an interim planning director, he said.
“Bob did a good job over the past couple of years of interpreting the complex land use ordinance,” Knight added. “I wish him the best in retirement.”
“These are great people to work with in the town,” Osborne said.