Lincoln names police chief new town manager

Posted June 11, 2013, at 6:05 p.m.
William Lawrence
William Lawrence

LINCOLN, Maine — William Lawrence is Lincoln’s new town manager.

The Town Council voted 6-0 on Monday night to name Lawrence its manager. Councilor Shaun Drinkwater was absent.

Lawrence will make $70,000 at his new position, council Chairman Steve Clay said. That’s about a $1,000 raise, Clay said.

Lawrence already was serving as the town’s interim manager and its police chief.

“Bill did an excellent job as interim [town manager] a year ago and then also again in the fall,” Clay said. “He has been there since October. We offered him the job in January. He thought about it and decided not to, but either way was good for us.”

Lawrence said at the time that he was happier as police chief. He reconsidered his decision months later and Clay took news of his change of mind to the council during a meeting last month, Clay said.

On Tuesday, Lawrence said he had gradually grown more comfortable in the town manager position to the point where turning it down would have been wasteful.

“I have a history of being asked to serve and getting put in the place they want me to be,” Lawrence said Tuesday.

Lawrence was sworn in as town manager at the end of Monday night’s meeting, Clay said.

Lawrence said that he will name an interim police chief by Friday.

“We will be advertising the position out soon. I hope to have it ready next week, and the interim is encouraged to apply as well,” Lawrence said.

The council voted 6-0 on Oct. 18 to terminate probationary Town Manager Bill Reed’s contract and appointed Lawrence his temporary successor. Drinkwater was absent during the vote.

Lawrence had been serving as police chief and interim manager for the second time. He was appointed manager in late March 2012 when former Town Manager Lisa Goodwin left to become Bangor’s city clerk.

As town manager, Lawrence recently conducted two internal investigations that ended with resignations or retirements.

Fire Chief Phil Dawson resigned abruptly in early May, denying a conflict of interest in his discussions with Millinocket Fire Chief Andrew Turcotte about placing a Millinocket ambulance at Howland’s fire station.

Lincoln and East Millinocket fire departments have agreed to partner in ambulance services for the Lincoln Lakes region, replacing those offered by Penobscot Valley Hospital. Dawson is also the Howland Fire Department’s chief and a member of the hospital board of directors, he said.

“The intent was not to negotiate away from the Lincoln-East Millinocket consortium but to provide a service to Howland and taxpayers from the Greater Howland area,” Dawson said at the time.

Town Treasurer Gilberte Mayo retired in late May. Mayo had been on administrative leave with pay since April pending the outcome of an internal investigation. When they announced the investigation in mid-April, Lawrence and other town officials declined to comment on why Mayo had been placed on leave or when the leave began.

Lawrence said his immediate task is to find permanent replacements for himself, Dawson and Mayo, and to give the replacements time to grow into their new positions. Several other initiatives have been in the works over the last several months as well, he said.

Clay said that he felt confident in Lawrence as the town’s new personnel director, which is one of the manager’s duties.

“We have hired a town manager who was a police chief. He is not going to let the Police Department slack. I think you will find that he will act pretty quickly to name a replacement,” Clay said.

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