OXFORD — Code Enforcement Officer Rodney Smith is now interim town manager, according to Board of Selectmen Chairman Scott Owens.

The board appointed Smith after meeting in executive session Jan. 14 to discuss personnel matters.

A few days before that meeting, Town Manager Michael Chammings announced his resignation and his new job as Auburn’s Community and Economic Development director.

Chammings’ last day was Tuesday; Smith became interim town manager Wednesday.

Owens said the board has not officially begun the search for a new manager and will advertise for one soon.

Some town workers asked selectmen Thursday how the loss of a permanent manager will impact aspects of their jobs.

Members of a Fire Department committee researching the purchase of a new firetruck and rescue truck asked if they should halt their search. Owens and other selectmen suggested they continue and report to them at a future meeting.

Questions regarding restrictions on working hours were less easy to answer. Owens committed to looking into a situation where certain town employees are only allowed to work 24 hours a week, which is causing scheduling problems. Owens told the employees he would try to have an answer Friday and asked Smith to assist him.

One audience member asked if an audit was normal procedure when a town changed managers.

Owens said the town is in the process of being audited because of funds received for the multimillion dollar sewer and wastewater treatment facility. It is standard procedure for audits to be performed when a town receives funds from the federal government for special projects, he said.

Scott Hunter recommended that selectmen host a meeting to gather input from townspeople on the process for searching for a new town manager.

Owens agreed. The board set a workshop for 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, at the Town Office. No public comments will be taken then. Instead, selectmen will schedule a public hearing to hear from residents.

In the meantime, selectmen voted to give Smith signing rights on the town’s bank account so business can continue for the Town Office and other departments.


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