For the second time in roughly a year, three area towns are in search of a new town manager: Buckfield, Norway and Oxford.

In March, Buckfield Town Manager Cindy Dunn announced she would resign as town manager and its associated duties effective June 30, the end of her contract. Dunn remains as town clerk and its associated duties.

At its May 25 meeting, selectmen voted unanimously to hire an interim town manager, who will also serve as a consultant. The interim manager will serve six months and be paid $1,500 a week. The duties include analyzing the current town structure, giving recommendations them and helping with the town manager hiring process. The money for the interim and permanent town manager will be included in the fiscal 2018 budget that will go to voters at the town meeting Saturday, June 17.

Selectmen do not want to allow the interim town manager to apply for the permanent position.

Board Chairman Warren Wright and Selectman Maida DeMers-Dobson have gone back and forth about whether or not the interim town manager and consultant positions should be separate. Residents at several selectmen’s meetings said they wanted an independent consultant from outside of Buckfield, DeMers-Dobson wanted to keep the positions separate. Outgoing Selectman Mike Iveson has been on a leave of absence, but did not want to hire a consultant.

“I don’t want to spend $15,000 on a perceived problem that may not be a problem,” he said recently about the fee for the consultant.

But after the Maine Municipal Association told Dunn that selectmen could not use the $10,000 emergency contingency money to hire the consultant DeMers-Dobson and Wright interviewed, DeMers-Dobson agreed to have the consultant and interim town manager be a combined position, which should save the town money.

Selectmen will advertise for the position and conduct interviews and hope to have a permanent town manager in place by the first of the year.

Oxford has had a few managers since January 2016 when longtime manager Michael Chammings left to become Auburn’s community and economic development director.

Oxford Code Enforcement Officer Rodney Smith, who passed away in March, was named interim town manager but did not apply for the permanent position.

In June of 2016, Derik Goodine was hired, and he resigned on Nov. 17.

Finance Clerk Becky Lippincott was immediately appointed interim manager. On Dec. 1, 2016, selectmen unanimously approved a three-month contract with her, with a provision that it could be extended.

On May 18 the board announced it would advertise for a permanent manager. According to the latest advertisement, selectmen are seeking someone with budgeting experience, grant administration and economic development experience, financial management skills, and good communication and public relations skills.

The board would prefer a candidate with a degree and experience in public administration; however, individuals with equivalent experience and education are encouraged to apply. Salary is negotiable based on experience and qualifications.

The advertisement varies from the one put out last year. The board is no longer requiring five years, or any, full-time management experience.

Applications are due by Thursday, June 15


In Norway, Town Manager David Holt announced April 6 that he was retiring June 30 after 28 years on the job.

Selectmen began advertising for candidates to replace Holt. According to the Town Office, 17 people applied for the position.

According to Holt, selectmen held interviews with four candidates May 30 and May 31. The interviews were held in executive session.

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