Eastport hires Perry man as manager

Posted April 12, 2010, at 11:18 p.m.

EASTPORT, Maine — City councilors Monday night hired Jonathan Southern, 37, of Perry as the new city manager.

Although Southern’s selection had been announced last week, it was made official Monday with the signing of a three-year contract.

Council chairman Robert Peacock said Southern had a good managerial background working for a technology call center. Southern attended the meeting but did not speak about his new position.

Peacock said Southern would begin his job on Monday, April 26. The board signed a three-year contract with an eight-month probationary period.

Southern will be paid $54,500 plus medical and dental benefits, $100 a month plus mileage for use of his personal vehicle, 20 days paid vacation and 12 sick days a year, and will be provided with a cell phone.

As an incentive, Peacock said Southern would get 30 percent of administrative portions of any grants that he is successful in writing and obtaining for the city.

George “Bud” Finch, who has been city manager for 15 years, was praised by Peacock, who said Finch had been exceptional in working through the search for a new manager.

Finch resigned last December citing a difference in philosophy between the council and himself. He agreed to remain on board on a weekly basis until a new manager could be found.

He did not indicate Monday what his plans are.

Peacock said Southern is from England and has lived in the area for nine years. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from colleges in England and majored in management and technology.

He has been a reserve police officer for Pleasant Point and Machias, and managed a technology call center in Machias.

Peacock said nine people applied for the position, including four local people. The board used a grading system to determine the front-runner and then conducted background checks. He said it took a little extra time because Southern’s background in England had to be reviewed.

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