HERMON, Maine — Hermon’s town manager for the past decade has accepted a similar job in Auburn.
Clinton Deschene, 39, was one of two finalists for the Auburn city manager position, which opened up in October, when city councilors terminated former City Manager Glenn Aho’s contract.
Deschene informed Hermon town councilors that he had been offered the Auburn post on Monday.
Deschene said Monday night that his last day on the job in Hermon will be Friday, June 15, and that he will assume his new position on Monday, June 18.
Deschene said the decision to move south was not an easy one to make.
“I’m a family guy,” Deschene said. “Moving your family is something you don’t take lightly.”
Deschene and his wife, Jennifer, have a 6-year-old daughter, Reagen, and a 2-year-old son, Duke.
Deschene said he is looking forward to the challenges that will come with running a larger community with a larger staff.
Deschene is a 1991 graduate of Presque Isle High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Maine, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English and political science. He earned a law degree from Suffolk University Law School in Boston in 1998. His landed his first manager job in June 1999 in Bradford and was tapped to serve as Hermon’s top administrator in July 2002.
Hermon Town Council Chairman Timothy McCluskey said councilors will meet in the near future to come up with a plan for finding Deschene’s successor.
“I hate to see him leave,” McCluskey said. “There’s no question that the town has improved [during his tenure]. He’s very frugal and he does more than most town managers do. It’s going to be a challenge to find a successor. Hermon’s a great community to be a manager in. We’re growing and we’re next to Bangor.”
While McCluskey noted that Deschene will have a higher salary as Auburn’s manager, “I know it wasn’t about money. It was pretty obvious that he was ready to go.”
Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte told the Lewiston Sun Journal that city councilors and Deschene settled on a three-year contract paying Deschene $94,000 per year. That amount increases to $97,000 after six months and $99,000 after completing his first year. The contract also reportedly pays Deschene $70 per month for a cellphone, a $400-per-month car allowance and paid membership in the International Association of City Managers, a professional development group.
Deschene said that after having worked for the same town for a decade, he is ready for new challenges.
“Hermon has been a fine place to learn the different aspects of municipal government but it’s exciting to be going to the second-largest population base in Maine,” Deschene said, referring to the Lewiston-Auburn area.
The other finalist for the Auburn post was Benjamin Marchant, 36, former city administrator from Jerome, Idaho, according to a news story published in the Sun Journal.