Interim Town Manager Sought

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Selectmen hope to have an interim town manager on the job by July 12.

The interim manager would take over the duties of Robin Bennett, who submitted her resignation last week in a separation agreement with selectmen. Ms. Bennett’s final day as town manager is June 30.

In a special meeting Tuesday, selectmen agreed to advertise for an interim manager, who would fill the position for about six months, while a search is under way for a replacement for Ms. Bennett. Resumes from candidates are due by July 6.

The meeting agenda also called for discussion of how to proceed with the search for Ms. Bennett’s replacement. Selectmen opted to postpone that discussion until their next regular meeting.

Ms. Bennett has been town manager since July 2007. The separation agreement between selectmen and Ms. Bennett was hammered out during executive sessions to discuss a personnel issue. No reasons for the falling out have been made public.

Under the agreement, the town is to pay Ms. Bennett $80,000, which includes the $38,656 salary she would have earned between July 1 and Dec. 31, $25,771 in severance pay, $9,817 in health insurance benefits and nearly $3,000 in vacation pay. The town also is supposed to make a $2,319 contribution to Ms. Bennett’s retirement plan.

At the meeting Tuesday, resident Lydia Goetze criticized the selectmen’s handling of Ms. Bennett’s resignation. “The way you’ve gone about this has shown flagrant disregard for the town and taxpayers,” Ms. Goetze said.

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Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander