DANVERS — Longtime Town Manager Wayne Marquis, the unflappable Danvers native whose calm demeanor carried the town through some of its darkest hours after the November 2006 Danversport blast, choked up as he read an announcement of his plan to retire “on or about Oct. 3, 2014.”
“After a great deal of thoughtful reflection, I am announcing my intention ...” said Marquis, pausing, “... to retire ... It’s been a busy day. A long day.”
“You could change your mind before you read it,” said Selectman Dan Bennett, drawing laughter from some members in the Toomey hearing room in Town Hall.
“I am announcing my intention to retire from my position as Town Manager on or about October 3, 2014,” Marquis continued.
“I have a sense of gratitude to and admiration for this board and boards with whom I have worked over the years and to my department managers, our dedicated Danvers employees, our Town Meeting members, volunteers. It’s hard for me to believe I have been Town Manager since February 1979.” He has worked in the town manager’s office for nearly 40 years, he said.
Marquis, 61, became town manager in February 1979, succeeding Town Manager Robert Curtis, who was town manager for 17 years. Before that, he had been the assistant town manager, and before that, an intern.
He called Curtis his mentor.
“He was the best darn teacher you could have ever had if you wanted to step into this business,” Marquis said.
Marquis mentioned another of his mentors: the late Baron Mayer, the longest-serving selectman at 24 years, who stayed on the board to help him.
Marquis’ present contract runs through June 2017. He was scheduled to earn $187,700 in fiscal 2013, but his present fiscal year’s salary was not readily available last night.
Marquis is only the second town manager in Danvers since 1962, said Selectmen Chairman Bill Clark, who thanked Marquis for his years of service. Marquis did not give a reason publicly for his decision in a sparsely attended meeting last night.