Town administrator in Blue Hill resigns

BLUE HILL – The town’s administrator Shawna Ambrose tendered her resignation at Monday’s Select Board meeting effective the end of January, according to a press release that Select Board member Jim Dow sent out Tuesday.

“The last couple of years have made me realize that life is short,” Ambrose said on Tuesday. “Family and doing what you love are most important, so that is exactly what I am going to do. Spend more time with my family and follow my heart back into the health care field. I am grateful to have served as town administrator over the last few years. This position has taught me many things.”

Ambrose was hired as Blue Hill’s first town administrator in November 2019, after the town approved this change in its government at the previous Town Meeting, Dow stated in the press release.

“My decision to resign was based on personal reasons,” Ambrose said. “I simply need to devote more to my family than this job allows, especially to my two daughters at this point in their lives. I have enjoyed this job and have appreciated the chance to be of service to my town in this way. It was not an easy decision to resign, but my family has to come first.”

Ambrose, a Blue Hill resident, has offered to assist the Select Board on an as-needed basis until her replacement is hired.

“The Select Board accepted Shawna’s resignation with deep regret,” said Ellen Best, board chairwoman. “She has done a great job for our town. She was clearly the right person to help us make the transition to having a town administrator. She is responsible for many improvements to the operation of the town and managed town business incredibly well during a difficult period of time. We are very sorry to see her depart, though we fully understand her reason for doing so.”

The Select Board plans to engage the Maine Municipal Association in recruiting Ambrose’s replacement, Dow said.
“Shawna is smart, skilled, hard-working, and unafraid to make difficult decisions — she had the right stuff for the job”, said Dow. “We hope the person we find to replace her is as good.”

“Shawna has trained a very capable town office staff, so the day-to-day town office business will be in good hands while we search for her replacement,” Best added.

In related business, Blue Hill is also searching for a new road commissioner.

At the 2021 annual Town Meeting, voters approved changing the road commissioner from an elected position to one appointed by the Select Board.

Longtime Road Commissioner Bill Cousins’ contract expires April 1. Cousins said he met with the board a couple of months ago, but the parties could not come to terms.

“We tried to work it out amongst ourselves, and the negotiations fell through,” Cousins said Monday. “I was hoping to stay on and keep things going.”

Dow said the board has received one application for the position.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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