SANGERVILLE, Maine — Dr. Kenneth Woodbury of Greenville, who has served as community development director of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council since 2007, is the new town manager of Sangerville.
Woodbury resigned from his position with the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council effective Jan. 16.
In his letter to the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council board of directors, Woodbury said that it was an honor “to have worked with many of the county’s towns on projects that have been of material and ongoing benefit to the communities, whether downtown renewal, energy conservation, business and commercial development, children’s playgrounds, tourism infrastructure or developing hiking, biking and motorized recreational trails.”
“As [the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council] seeks new leadership in 2015 and in my desire to want to be assured that I can continue to be of service in Piscataquis County, I have accepted and look forward to assuming the position of Sangerville town manager,” he said.
Woodbury told the Observer that the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council recently decided to hire an executive director “which I’ve been strongly encouraging them to do. So they’re going to do an open search, and the Sangerville position was open. So it worked out very well.”
Woodbury and Janet Sawyer have served as co-directors of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council for several years.
Although this is his first town manager position, Woodbury, 73, has several years of experience as a college president and working for a board of directors.
“Sangerville is a good fit,” he said. “I have the energy to do the job and a lot of good years left. I want to stay in Piscataquis County, and I feel my experience in business and community development will be an asset to the town.”
Woodbury is a retired educator who started his career at Deering High School in Portland. He was president and CEO of the Valencia Community College Foundation in Orlando, president of Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania and served as president of the College of the Marshall Islands for a brief time.
He graduated from Bates College, and he received his master’s degree from the University of Maine and his doctorate in education from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
According to Bill Rowe, chairman of the Sangerville Board of Selectmen, Woodbury’s starting salary is $45,000 per year.
“If he receives a favorable review in six months, then it goes up by $2,500,” Rowe said. “The salary really doesn’t reflect his value and experience, but our ability to pay — and he understands that. But eventually, we have to move into the 21st Century.”
Rowe said that there were 12 applications for the position, which became available when David Pearson retired on Dec. 31.
“Ken wasn’t a complete stranger to us,” Rowe said. “We dealt with him when we applied for the Department of Conservation Canopy Grant, and he made a very favorable impression on me at that time.”
Woodbury said that there are still some Piscataquis County Economic Development Council grants that he will need to administer and close out and will be available to the applicants on an as-needed basis “within the constraints of my job, of course. But there’s always weekends.”