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Colleagues gather to salute retiring Town Manager

The Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen posed for a photo on the stage in the Great Hall on the occasion of Town Manager Dave Owen's retirement on May 31. L-R: Brad Harriman, Dave Owen, Paul O'Brien, Chairman Linda Murray, Dave Senecal and David Bowers. (Photo by Elissa Paquette) (click for larger version)
June 06, 2018
WOLFEBORO — The Board of Selectmen hosted a reception for Town Manager Dave Owen on May 31, on the occasion of his last day of 11 years on the job. Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Linda Murray led off the accolades with appreciation for Owen's "ability to see the talent and expertise in his staff and to use his staff effectively" to meet a number of challenges during his tenure.

Among them, addressing a state moratorium on sewer system hook ups, a water moratorium, town road upgrades, ADA non-compliance issues and town facilities upgrades most notably the need for modern and efficient town office space.

Murray attributed Owen's ability to handle a divided board and the conflicting opinions of a number of community groups as renovation options were considered, as important to the eventual successful renovation. She added that since the renovation, a number of naysayers have "confessed to me that the Town Hall building came out beautifully."

She noted that Owen's tenure also stood out for his "accessibility not only as town manager, but also as a community member, who eats at local restaurants, plays tennis at the Wolfeboro Tennis Club and works on Rotary projects.

In closing, Murray offered a list of words that she felt best describe Owen: cooperative, steady, pleasant, honest, willing to assist, acts professionally, partners with the Board of Selectmen, and a great sense of humor. She extended her thanks and offered the microphone to those in the audience.

State Rep. Edie Desmarais thanked Owen for his "persistent support" behind the scenes to make construction of the Lakes Region Housing Coalition's Harriman Hill work force housing possible. Former selectman Sarah Silk added her appreciation for his service, which was soon joined by Joyce Davis, of the Friends of Town Hall, who said, "It was something special to work with [Owen] as a volunteer...He was respectful of others' ideas. He was a joy to work with."

Owen's wife, Mary, commented that she believed serving as town manager for Wolfeboro was his favorite job, and thanked the "dedicated selectmen, employees and department heads" who supported him, and spoke fondly of Wolfeboro's attractions that she has come to know.

Owen took his turn at the podium to say he was leaving with "a bit of pride and accomplishment" following 11 years in the job, with gratitude to the support of the town's employees and board members throughout his tenure. He poked fun at himself with a story of missing a previous retirement party in his honor, and said he was pleased to make this one. He can now enjoy Wolfeboro as a public citizen.

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