RUMFORD — Following an hour-long executive session Wednesday, selectmen voted unanimously to appoint Scott Cole of Bethel as interim town manager.
Board Chairman Chris Brennick said “We interviewed several candidates and felt Cole was the best fit for the interim.”
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, along with the following terms:
* The contract begins on Monday and expires on June 12, 2019, following the June elections.
* Cole will earn $1,462 per week.
* Cole will receive one sick day per month, and will be allowed to contribute to Maine State Retirement.
In an email statement Wednesday night, Brennick said Cole “brings the toolset 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.”
On Thursday, Cole said, “I’m thrilled to be offered the position. 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.”
Cole, who served for 10 years as Bethel town manager, added, “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, then subsequently fired her from the position on Jan. 2.
Brennick said Cole, Carter and himself will sit down and discuss what the transition will look like for the position, with Carter assisting Cole for a few more days, as needed, before returning back to his duties as police chief.
Brennick said Wednesday’s workshop was intended to be to develop the process for hiring a new town manager, but the board changed course on that issue.
Chase said, “We’ve got somebody in place who should be capable. Let’s pump the brakes a little bit.”
Selectman Mark Belanger added, “At least wait until we get by the budget process.”
Chase added, “We can start to work through the process, 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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