Southwest Harbor hires from within for town manager post 

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — After holding a nationwide search for its next town manager, the Southwest Harbor Select Board made a unanimous decision to appoint the current town clerk, Marilyn Lowell, to the position.  

The town has been searching for a manager since Justin VanDongen was fired in January. The town offered the position to Michael Patterson in September, but he withdrew from consideration and released the town from his contract less than a week after accepting the job. 

Lowell, who lives in Ellsworth, has been Southwest Harbor’s town clerk since 2013. She has also served as assistant town manager and interim town manager while working for the town and is excited to start her new role.  

“It’s going to be a new adventure. I’ve been in the municipal field for about 20 years, so there will be new and old experiences,” she said.  

Lowell was Hancock’s town clerk for over 11 years prior to becoming Southwest Harbor’s town clerk. She has an associate degree in human services from the University of Maine’s Bangor campus. 

The Select Board approved a three-year agreement with an annual salary of $90,000 at its meeting on Dec. 6. 

Interim Town Manager Dana Reed will be training Lowell until her official start date of Monday, Dec. 13, and said he will be available as needed after that. Current Deputy Town Clerk Jennifer LaHaye will take over as town clerk, and the town will be searching for a new deputy town clerk. 

This story has been updated from a previous version.

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.
Ninah Rein

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