RUMFORD — The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Wednesday to appoint Scott Cole of Bethel as interim town manager.

“We interviewed several candidates and felt Cole was the best fit for the interim,” board Chairman Chris Brennick said 

Selectman Peter Chase added: “This process is only for an interim. We will go ahead with the regular hiring process for a town manager.”

Following the meeting, Brennick contacted Cole, who accepted the appointment under the following terms:

• The contract begins Monday and expires June 12, 2019, following the June elections.

• Cole will earn $1,462 a week.

• Cole will receive one sick day per month, and will be allowed to contribute to the Maine Public Employees Retirement System.

In a prepared statement Wednesday night, Brennick said Cole “brings the tool set and experience needed to move our community forward. His track record shows that he is able to bring together all stakeholders for the betterment of the communities he serves. The board looks forward to working with Scott to continue Rumford’s forward momentum.”

Cole, who served for 10 years as town manager in Bethel, said Thursday he is eager to begin his new role.

“I’m thrilled to be offered the position,” he said. “I’m looking forward to learning everything I can about the job as soon as I can. As near as I can tell, it’s going to be a steep learning curve.

“I’m confident that my past experience will be well-suited for this job. With that said, I also know there’s a lot to learn in the near future.”

Police Chief Stacy Carter has been serving as acting town manager since the board suspended Town Manager Linda-Jean Briggs on Dec. 14. Briggs was then fired Jan. 2.

Brennick said he, Cole and Carter will sit down and discuss the transition for the position, with Carter assisting Cole for a few more days before returning to his duties as police chief.

Brennick said Wednesday’s workshop was intended to develop the process for hiring a new town manager, but the board changed course on that issue.

“We’ve got somebody in place who should be capable,” Chase said. “Let’s pump the brakes a little bit.”

Selectman Mark Belanger added, “At least wait until we get by the budget process.”

“We can start to work through the process,” Chase said, “but I don’t think we need to jump into the middle of it right now.”

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Scott Cole of Bethel has been named interim town manager in Rumford. (Sun Journal file photo)

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