After 18 months without a town manager, Westminster recently hired Louis Bordeaux of Bernardston, Massachusetts for the position.
Robert F. Smith/The Commons
After 18 months without a town manager, Westminster recently hired Louis Bordeaux of Bernardston, Massachusetts for the position.

Westminster names new town manager

Louis Bordeaux of Bernardston, Mass., brings government and retail management experience to the job

WESTMINSTER — After the position has been vacant for 18 months, the town has hired Louis Bordeaux as its new town manager, effective last week.

A resident of Bernardston, Massachusetts, Bordeaux has worked in local government for just over a decade. Prior to that, he had a long career in mid- and upper-level retail management.

Bordeaux said that he got into politics at the urging of a friend in 2012, when a three-year seat on the Bernardston Selectboard opened up. He ran and won "by a landslide," he said.

"But it was a little humbling," he added, "when I attended my first town meeting. At the end of the meeting someone came up and said, 'So you're Lou Bordeaux? I voted for you, but you're not who I thought I voted for!'"

Despite that start, Bordeaux said he enjoyed the work and learning how small-town government functions. He worked on the town's Finance Committee, where he said he "got an education on how towns operate and handle finances."

When the position of town coordinator opened, he realized he'd "love to do that," and he got the job in 2018. He served for over five years.

When he learned that the town manager position was open in Westminster, he thought it could be a good opportunity for him to use his management and town politics experience.

"This was the essence of what I'd already been doing," he said. "So I drove up and checked out the town and the commute with one of my sons."

He liked the town, concluded that the commute would be doable, applied for the job, and got it.

"It's interesting to see how life is a journey," Bordeaux said. "We make our best laid plans, then life comes along and pulls the rug out. I've been very blessed with so many things in my life. After 40 years, everything seems to have fallen into place. I'm very happy to be working in local government."

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, he has lived in either Massachusetts or New Hampshire all his life. Bordeaux said that among other jobs, he had been an inventory control specialist and traveling district manager for the Shaws supermarket chain in the Northeast for over 12 years.

A hockey enthusiast, he coaches high school hockey and ran the pro shop at the Collins/Moylan Arena in Greenfield, Massachusetts. He has two sons, one an honors-level engineering student and the other a goalie on the Eastern Hockey League's Seahawks Hockey Club on Cape Cod.

He says he's "very proud" of his sons and what they've accomplished.

With his brother, Bordeaux founded the Springfield Hockey Heritage Society in 2008, which has grown to more than 500 members.

Inspired by his brother's extensive collection of hockey memorabilia, they formed the Society to preserve the legacy of professional ice hockey in Springfield, Massachusetts, for current and future generations.

The Society honors the region's players and officials, and it maintains artifacts and historical records covering nearly 100 years of hockey in the Pioneer Valley.

A love for small communities

One of the things that drew him to Westminster was that Bordeaux "loves rural, tight-knit communities."

With the move, he said, "I have the opportunity to bring my skills to help improve the community. That's what I look for at this point in my life, to do positive things for people."

The small size of the town, he said, gives him the "opportunity to get to know people."

Without a permanent town manager for so long, Bordeaux said that he knows the "Selectboard, the town offices, and the road crews have had a rough 18 months." During his first week on the job, he met with all the town employees.

"I want to be that stable force for the town and the people who work here," Bordeaux said. "Westminster is a nice place, and I'm grateful to be here."

This News item by Robert F. Smith was written for The Commons.

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