AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage announced in a statement released Thursday afternoon that Sawin Millett, Maine’s finance commissioner, will retire at the end of May. Millett has played a lead role in crafting LePage’s budgets and fiscal policy since taking the finance commissioner post in 2011.
“After nearly 55 years of public service at the local, state and federal levels here in Maine, I have decided that it is time to phase down the hectic pace of my daily commitment and devote more time to enjoying the wonderful family, farm and community pleasures that await me in Waterford, my birthplace, and the source of many generations of Millett family heritage,” Millett wrote to the Governor in his resignation letter. “Thank you for giving me the privilege of serving in your administration.”
A former legislator, Millett also worked in the administration of former Gov. John McKernan, Maine’s last Republican governor before LePage. He served in the administrations of independent governors Angus King and James Longley, and he also served briefly in the administration of Democratic Gov. Joseph Brennan in 1979.
“Sawin’s institutional knowledge and acute understanding of the state budget and financial operations has been invaluable to our administration,” said LePage in the statement. “His quiet authority and wisdom gained over more than five decades of public service have commanded the highest respect from everyone in state government, and the depth of his experience will be difficult to replace. We wish Sawin and his family much happiness and enjoyment in the retirement he so richly deserves.”
Millett began his career as a teacher and coach at Carmel High School in 1959, after he graduated from Bates College. He earned a master’s in education from the University of Maine in 1967, and he served as a teacher, coach and principal until 1971.
He served as the executive director of the Maine School Management Association and was an Assistant Professor with the University of Southern Maine.
His first experience in elected office was as a selectman from 1963-70 in Dixmont. He later served as a selectman in his hometown of Waterford from 1986-89.
Millett has served six terms in the Maine House of Representatives: from 1969-72 and from 2002-10.