August 19, 2022

Bangor names Heitmann as permanent solicitor

BANGOR — The City Council has announced that the assistant solicitor for the past four years will be promoted to city solicitor.

Norman S. Heitmann III, serving as acting solicitor since the resignation of Erik Stumpfel, will be confirmed as the city solicitor during Monday’s meeting of the City Council.

Seven lawyers applied for the position, with three advancing to the interview phase. The names of the other applicants — none of them city employees — were not made public.

“I appreciate the confidence the council has shown with my selection,” Heitmann said Tuesday, “and look forward to the opportunity to serve the council and the city of Bangor.”

Heitmann became assistant city solicitor in July 1995 after 16 years in private practice in Bangor and Millinocket.

He has a juris doctorate from the University of Maine School of Law, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Southern Maine, a bachelor’s in political science from USM, and an associate degree from Bangor Community College.

A Hampden resident, he is a native of Troy.

Heitmann’s appointment was not unexpected. In addition to having four years of experience in the city legal office, he has been praised recently by councilors for his work on issues such as the recent settlement covering the cleanup of waste oil at the Portland-Bangor Waste Oil Co. in Wells.

Heitmann is a member of the Joint Defense Group Steering Committee, a panel representing 85 “potentially responsible parties” that had been working on a resolution since 1995.

The city attorney said that one of the things he likes best about municipal service is “getting to see the results — something that’s very unlike private practice.”

He also has enjoyed offering support to other departments in the city.

For example, Heitmann assisted community and economic development officials on the agreement to purchase 28.8 acres of waterfront land in 1996 from Maine Central Railroad’s parent company, Guilford Transportation. The city is in the process of planning for the development of that land.

“I look forward to continuing to do the same work that I’ve done,” Heitmann said. “I like to think there will be continuity here. It will still be business as usual.”

He also has worked with the planning board, the board of appeals, the council itself and various committees.

“Norm Heitmann was selected from a field of strong candidates,” Mayor Joseph Baldacci said in a statement. “He brings to his new position significant knowledge about current city legal matters and the general field of municipal law.”

Baldacci added, “The entire council strongly believes that Norm has the experience, and the personal qualities necessary, to succeed in the position. We were very fortunate to have an individual of this caliber currently on staff, allowing for a smooth transfer.”

City solicitor is one of only four positions filled directly by the council rather than appointed by the city manager with the confirmation of the council. The other three are city manager, city clerk and city assessor.

The city will follow its usual process in filling the position of assistant city solicitor, City Manager Edward Barrett said. The job will be posted in-house for five days, and then a decision will be made as to whether the position also will be advertised.

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