June 25, 2018
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Southwest Harbor to hire new town manager

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine — After the resignation of Town Manager Robin Bennett, selectmen decided Tuesday to advertise an interim town manager position that they hope to fill sometime next month.

Robin Bennett has been the town manager of Southwest Harbor since July 2004. Her last official day of work is expected to be June 30.

At a special selectmen’s meeting Tuesday night, selectmen indicated they want to hire an interim town manager fairly quickly, but that they want to go through a formal advertise-and-interview process.

“We should give ourselves a couple of weeks,” Selectman Skip Wilson told his fellow board members.

The board set a July 6 deadline for receiving applications for the interim position, with the hope of having someone in place by July 12. After an interim town manager is hired, they indicated, they expect to appoint a local committee of officials and residents to find someone to fill the position on a permanent basis.

It could be January 2012 before a new town manager starts, Wilson noted.

Bennett said Wednesday she could not comment in detail about her resignation, but said she resigned after coming to a mutual agreement with the Board of Selectmen. She said her contract is due to expire at the end of June, at which point her resignation will become effective.

Bennett said she is expected to get slightly more than $80,000 in severance pay, which includes six months of salary pay, benefits, vacation time and business expense reimbursements, among other things. Bennett said she and selectmen agreed on June 14 that she would resign.

Attempts Wednesday afternoon to contact Ralph Dunbar, chairman of the town’s Board of Selectmen, by phone were unsuccessful.

Bennett came to Southwest Harbor from Barre, Vt., where she had been working as the city manager. A native of Benton, Maine, she said she plans to remain in the Mount Desert Island area for the time being.

“It’s been a joy working for the town of Southwest Harbor,” Bennett said. “I am exploring other professional opportunities.”

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