ELLSWORTH, Maine — A longtime town manager for Millinocket, who also served as town manager of Houlton for 18 months, has been chosen to be the new top administrator for Hancock County.
Eugene Conlogue will become the first-ever county administrator for Hancock County when he starts work in mid-February, according to Hancock County officials.
Conlogue served as Millinocket’s town manager for 13 years, resigning in September 2012 to take the job in Houlton. He then resigned as Houlton’s town manager in April 2014, after having held the position for a year and a half.
Conlogue said Tuesday this will not be his first job in Hancock County, though it will be his first job in county government. He said he worked in Gouldsboro for six months as town manager in 1999, just before taking the Millinocket job. Even so, he said he does not consider himself an “expert” in the area.
“Counties perform a number of important different services,” Conlogue said, which include managing unorganized territories, operating the registry of deeds and probate offices and, in Hancock County’s case, an airport, too. “I’m looking forward to being part of those.”
Conlogue said part of what attracted him to the county administrator job is the fact that Hancock County has never had one before. The process of establishing the job and working out with commissioners what the administrator’s role will be is appealing to him, he said.
In general terms, Conlogue said, he expects to oversee the county’s day-to-day functions, helping to implement budgetary, policy and personnel decisions made by the commissioners. But he expects the commissioners to remain involved in overseeing some of those functions and is looking forward to delineating those responsibilities with the commissioners, he added.
“It presents an interesting set of new challenges,” Conlogue said of helping to define the position.
Conlogue said his salary will be $70,000 per year.
Before hiring Conlogue, county commissioners indicated the administrator will be expected to work closely with elected officials who oversee county departments, such as deeds, probate and the sheriff’s office, and will directly oversee non-elected heads of the county’s maintenance, emergency management, finance and regional communications departments, as well as the manager at the county airport in Trenton.
Percy “Joe” Brown, chairman of the commission, said Tuesday that Conlogue was the top candidate out of 20 people who applied for the job. He said Conlogue brings a lot of administrative experience and a good financial background, which he feels is important for the new position.
Brown said he served on the board of the Eastern Maine Development Corporation when Conlogue was the board chairman. He said the former Millinocket town manager will be a good administrator and supervisor.
“I think Gene gives that to us,” Brown said of having an administrator with ample experience. “I’m really pleased he’s on board.”