December 19, 2018
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Maine town hires interim manager after firing white separatist

Jake Bleiberg | BDN
Jake Bleiberg | BDN
The Jackman Town Office

Jackman selectmen have hired Mitchell Berkowitz to run the town on a temporary basis after the high-profile firing of Town Manager Tom Kawczynski on Tuesday.

Berkowitz will oversee budget development, town operations and direct a search for a permanent town manager. According to a news release, Berkowitz is completing work with the town of Naples and will assume his role in Jackman in February.

Berkowitz retired as town manager in Bridgton in January 2014 after eight years working for the town. He has also been a town manager in Gray, Colchester, Vermont, and Berlin, New Hampshire.

Selectmen voted unanimously Wednesday to hire Berkowitz on a temporary and open-ended basis, with a clause in the agreement that the town can terminate the arrangement with a 48-hour notice, according to a news release. Town officials did not immediately respond to a question about how much Berkowitz will be paid.

The town fired Kawczynski, on Tuesday after media reports about Kawczynski’s published beliefs in racial segregation and his condemnation of Islam. The controversy put the town near Maine’s Canadian border in a critical national spotlight, but the selectmen said in their statement that Jackman is “moving forward.”

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