April 10, 2020
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Rockland hires Brewer administrator as new city manager

James Smith

ROCKLAND, Maine — James Smith, who has served as Brewer’s assistant city manager since 2007, will be the next city manager of Rockland.

Mayor Brian Harden announced the hiring Monday afternoon after he briefed city department heads. The City Council met last week and agreed on Smith, but an announcement was withheld while terms of his employment agreement were being formalized.

“James has a skill set that is well suited to Rockland’s position as a changing community in a challenging economic climate,” Harden said. “He is experienced at monitoring budgets and managing personnel. He has worked with capital projects and infrastructure. The Rockland City Council is looking forward to working with him for years to come.”

Smith will be paid $80,000 a year, the mayor said. A formal vote on a resolve to hire Smith and sign his employment agreement is scheduled for Monday, March 5.

He will begin work in Rockland on Monday, April 2.

In a press release issued Monday evening, Brewer City Manager Steve Bost congratulated Smith, who gave his 30-day notice that day, and wished him well as he transitions into his new position in Rockland.

“His meticulous attention to detail, organizational skills, ability to work closely with staff at all levels, his diplomatic and patient nature with citizens, and his keen sense of both the macro and micro dynamics of municipal government will be missed,” Bost said. “He has been an integral part of the Brewer team, taking the helm in various difficult situations as they arose, and always staying with the task until it was successfully resolved.

“Moreover, on a personal level, Jim has been a confidant and a friend,” Bost said. “The promotion to city manager, in a vibrant and progressive community like Rockland, is a wonderful opportunity for Jim.”

Smith is a Maine native. He served 10 years in the Marine Corps, including several overseas posts. He then attended the University of Maine, earning a bachelor’s degree in public administration. He served one year as town manager of the Aroostook County town of Oakfield before getting the Brewer post.

A resident of Greenbush, Smith is married with four children and will move to Rockland after the end of the school year.

Smith was active in committees of the Maine Municipal Association and as a volunteer in his town, Harden said.

The mayor also praised the work of Finance Director Tom Luttrell, who has served as interim city manager since Rosemary Kulow left Oct. 6 to become town manager of Poland.

“Tom has worked diligently for five months to keep local government running smoothly while overseeing our Finance Department. Rockland citizens can be proud of Tom and all of our department heads and employees who worked hard to help him,” Harden said.

Brewer has a population of 9,482 residents, according to the 2010 Census. The overall budget for municipal and school costs is $32.5 million.

Rockland’s population is 7,297 and its municipal budget is $10.1 million. Rockland’s local share of RSU 13’s $26 million budget is $7.2 million.

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