DIXFIELD — A West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran from Virginia has been named town manager.

Dustin M. Starbuck (Submitted photo)

Selectmen announced Monday night that Dustin M. Starbuck, 54, has agreed to a one-year contract.

He succeeds Carlo Puiia, who is retiring after four years as manager. Puiia said Starbuck will begin his duties Aug. 6.

Starbuck will be paid an annualized rate of $47,500 for the first six months and an annualized rate of $52,000 for the second six months.

Starbuck graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1986 and from the University of Florida College of Law in Gainsville in 1994. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army after 28 years of active duty and reserve service as a senior instructor for the Command and General Staff College. He’s commanded troops, including those in combat.

He has been awarded a Bronze Star, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Combat Action Badge for service in Iraq, and three Meritorious Service Medals.

Puiia said Starbuck is a magistrate for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

According to the Virginia court website, a magistrate’s principal function is to provide an independent, unbiased review of complaints of criminal conduct brought to the office by law enforcement or the general public. Duties also include issuing arrest warrants, summonses, bonds, search warrants, subpoenas and certain civil warrants.

“The board was impressed with Mr. Starbuck’s accomplishments and resume, and with the phone and in-person interviews,” Chairwoman Norine Clarke said.

“I’ve been serving the public since I was 18 years old,” Starbuck said Tuesday from Virginia. “I still want to continue doing that. Municipal government seemed like a place where I could continue to serve people, try to help solve problems, use my experience and have a nice life.”

Starbuck said he and his wife, Heather, have a condo in Bar Harbor.

“It’s always been our goal to be up there,” he said. “My wife and I wanted to continue to live in a more rural, small-town area. After D.C., we wanted to live somewhere else.”

“We plan to make ourselves a part of the community there,” he said.

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