DIXFIELD — Former Oxford County Sheriff’s Office Deputy James McLamb of Auburn has been named town manager and starts the job Monday.

James L. McLamb Submitted photo

“I’m just looking at a change of career,” the 28-year-old said Thursday. “I’ve been in law enforcement for seven years. After I got my master’s degree in 2018, I kind of wanted to put it to some use, and decided to serve my community in a different way instead of law enforcement.”

McLamb patrolled Dixfield when the Sheriff’s Office took over law enforcement in the town in August 2020.

“I’ve patrolled that area for years,” he said. “I went to Lewiston (Police Department) for a little bit, but came back to the Sheriff’s Office. But before that … I lived in Peru and Dixfield. So I’ve known the area for quite awhile, but having worked as the Dixfield deputy strictly, gave me a better view of the town.”

He has also been a patrol officer for Rumford Police Department.

McLamb was among 20 applicants to succeed Dustin Starbuck, who was named to the job in June 2018 and announced Jan. 11 he was retiring by July due to health concerns.

McLamb has been offered a one-year contract and selectmen will review his performance every 90 days. His starting salary of $51,000 will increase to $55,000 after six months of satisfactory performance. He will receive 10 days paid vacation, health, short-term disability and life insurance, and a financial retirement plan.

McLamb has a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology from Thomas College. His master’s is in criminal justice with a concentration on advanced counterterrorism and Homeland Security from Southern New Hampshire University.

Starbuck said he will remain on salary through the end of May and stay involved through June and July for elections, board meetings, real estate tax commitment and other government operations.

“I will receive a $1,000 stipend for June and July so that McLamb or the board can request help or my input as needed,” he said.

McLamb said he’s focused on setting goals.

“From the law enforcement perspective, I’d like to get ahold of the drug problem and put that to bed,” he said. “Also, there’s a lot of properties in Dixfield that are falling down. I’ve talked to so many people before I put in for it (town manager). They always said, ‘Yeah, I wish this house was sold and we could put a business there.’ But pretty much, the financial and economic growth of Dixfield is my main objective for right now.”

McLamb said he looks forward to working with residents in his new role.

“It’s going to be a great change,” he said. “A lot of good things I’m going to be able to do for the town.”

He praised Starbuck for his work.

“Dustin has done a great job there,” McLamb said. “It’s sad to see him go, but he’ll be a good mentor along the way if I have any questions.”

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