Buckfield to consider options for vacant town manager post


BUCKFIELD — The Board of Selectmen has decided to review all its options as it considers whether to hire a permanent town manager.

The board agreed Tuesday night to hold a workshop at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17 to address a number of issues, including whether the town should hire a full-time or part-time manager or look at hiring an administrative assistant instead.

“They’re going to look at all the different possibilities,” said Town Clerk Cindy Dunn, who is serving as interim town manager.

Dunn was hired as interim town manager Jan. 21 after Town Manager Dana Lee resigned to become the first manager of Eliot in York County.

Lee was hired by Buckfield in June 2013 at a salary of $49,000 and worked worked 35 hours a week.

The town manager of Buckfield is also the road commissioner, tree warden, general assistance director, civil emergency preparedness director, health officer, code enforcement officer and public access officer.

Selectmen have said they could promote a town employee or advertise the post, accept applications, conduct interviews and hire from the outside.

Buckfield hired its first town manager in 1967.

A town or city manager is defined by statute and appointed by selectmen or town councilors. He or she is responsible for supervising the activities of local government; appointing personnel working for the government who are not elected; preparing the budget for the selectmen, and providing the selectmen with advice on the needs of the community, according to information from the Maine Municipal Association.

A community that adopts a local charter can define its own roles and relationships for the town manager. According to information from the Maine Municipal Association, Auburn was the first municipality to employ a professionally trained manager, adopting that form of government in 1917. Portland followed in 1923, Belfast in 1929, and Bangor and Brewer in 1931.

Many Maine municipalities have taken to the town manager form of government. Others employ administrative assistants or professional assistants. In some towns, selectmen handle the responsibilities a town manager or administrative assistant might in another town.

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