2017-09-08 / Community News

News Briefs

New human resource director to begin duties on Sept. 11

With a new community services director – Todd Souza – hired in April and senior planner Jay Chace moving to the position of planning director, the vacant human resources job was the last open position for Town Manager Tom Hall to fill and bring his senior staff team to full capacity.

Liam Gallagher, the human resource director in York, was hired to fill that role, which became vacant when Jaclyn Mandrake left the post to be the human resource director of Maine Public. Gallagher starts Monday, Sept. 11.

“I am very much looking forward to Liam coming aboard,” Hall said. “He will be a central part of the senior staff. He comes to the position with a deep understanding of human resources with his experiences in Westbrook and York. I think he will be able to meet our needs and is the type of person that will fit well into the organization.”

As part of his role as the human resource director in York, Gallagher served as the lead collective bargaining negotiator, revamped personnel policies and oversaw the general assistance program. He was also in charged of labor and employees relations, benefit administration, training and compliance and safety in the workplace.

Prior to working in York, Gallagher spent three years with the city of Westbrook and Westbrook School Department, where he oversaw new hire orientations, recruitment efforts, managed benefits packages and administrated the Department of Transportation’s random drug testing program.

Gallagher, who has a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Maine, is certified as a Professional in Human Resources by both the Human Resources Certification Institute and Society for Human Resources Management.

Appointments required for passport application program

The Community Services Department began issuing Scarborough residents passports in 2012, but now, five years later, passport applications will only be processed by appointment only, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 12.

The decision to go to an appointment system was due to the the volume of passport applications the department has processed in recent years and was made to reduce customer wait times, increase efficiency and improve service.

“We are seeing our volume increase,” Community Services Director Todd Souza said.

The department, which processed 655 passport applications in 2016-2017, was slammed with requests last week, a time, Souza said, when staff members were also dealing with the start of before school and after school care for the 2017-2018 school year and sign ups for senior, adult and youth programming.

Passports will still be processed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but only by appointment. Appointments can be made by calling the office at 730-4150.

“We aren’t shortening our hours,” Souza said. “We are just asking people to make an appointment first.”

The process typically takes 30 minutes, although can take as few as 15 minutes if the applicant is prepared. New passport typically arrive in the mail in four to six weeks.

The appointment system and knowing when people will be coming in looking for passports, Souza said, allows him to make sure he has the necessary staff on hand at the time. There are six Community Services employees who are certified passport agents, but all hold other responsibilities within the department.

Community Services will continue offering Passport Days, held on occasional Saturdays throughout the year.

Since Maine is not yet compliant with the Real ID Act, beginning on Jan. 22, 2018 airline passengers who have a Maine drivers license will have to have another form of identification, such as a passport, in order to board a domestic flight.

For more information about the documentation needed and important information about first time or passport renewals visit travel.state.gov.

Compiled by Staff Writer Michael Kelley. Kelley can be reached at news@scarboroughleader.com.

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