Longer contracts inked

SOUTHWEST HARBOR—As a final nod to several town employees, outgoing Town Manager Don Lagrange guaranteed their positions for three years, instead of one.

Harbormaster Adam Thurston and Police Chief Alan Brown were among those appointed for longer terms than have been historically granted. Marilyn Lowell’s contract was also approved. She serves as town clerk, assistant manager, deputy tax collector, deputy treasurer, general assistance administrator and health officer.

Selectmen were asked to approve the appointments made by the outgoing town manager at their meeting Tuesday.

Selectman Lydia Goetze questioned the change in the length of the contracts, which previously were all for one-year terms.

“I don’t see any compelling reason to move it to three years,” she said, “I wanted to leave [new Town Manager] Justin [VanDongen] the freedom to see where employees best fit.”

VanDongen began as manager this week.

“It’s the most efficient,” Lagrange told the board. “It’s less work for the staff and less work for those being appointed.”

Following further discussion, the board voted 3-2 in favor of the three-year terms for Brown, other police officers, Thurston, Lowell and Deputy Tax Collector Deborah Clark. Selectmen George Jellison, Dan Norwood and Chad Terry were in favor. Goetze and Selectman Ryan Donahue were opposed.

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