Mary Sabins is making a major career change, from managing a town of about 4,500 people to managing flowers.
Vassalboro’s just-retired town manager has started classes in the Maine State Florists and Growers Association Professional Certified Florists Program. She has enjoyed flower-arranging in her spare time for many years; once certified, she plans to work part-time in a flower shop, for fun and post-retirement income.
Appropriately, there were colorful flowers on each table at her Jan. 11 retirement party, and the cake was decorated with succulents. Guests included former and current town employees, officials and organization leaders and two officials from the Maine Municipal Association, of which Sabins is a past president.
Donald Breton, Robert Browne and Elizabeth “Libby” Mitchell, the former select board members who hired Sabins in the spring of 2008, were among those present.
State Representative Richard Bradstreet, of Vassalboro, presented a framed copy of a legislative proclamation recognizing Sabins’ 33 years of public service, including 14 years as Vassalboro town manager.
Daniel Mayotte, chief of Vassalboro’s First Responder unit, gave Sabins a framed letter thanking her for supporting the unit.
Barbara Redmond, current chairman of the select board, thanked Sabins for her help with select board responsibilities and as a friend.
Former select board member Lauchlin Titus began his short speech with condolences to Scot (Sabins’ husband). In a serious vein, he thanked Sabins for achievements during her tenure, like written personnel and financial policies and creation of a Tax Increment Financing plan.
Road foreman Eugene Field said working with Sabins had been a pleasure. She reciprocated, calling him “my right-hand guy.”
In her reply, Sabins praised Vassalboro as the warmest and kindest of the five municipalities in which she worked, thanked town employees, select board members and others and expressed her pride in “the work we’ve accomplished together.”
Redmond said monetary gifts were used for gift certificates to Fieldstone Gardens, in Vassalboro, and to Amazon, recognizing Sabins’ interests in plants and handicrafts. Other gifts and a basket full of cards awaited Sabins’ attention.
The party, held at Browne’s Natanis Golf Course, was organized with his help by Redmond, Town Clerk Cathy Coyne and Community Program Director Karen Hatch.
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