Eastport City Manager Jon Southern confirms that at the November 13 city council meeting executive session he gave notice that he does not intend to renew his contract in April. He explains that when he was hired almost three years ago he made it clear that it would be most likely for just one contract term.
"It's time to move on," he says, but he "will work hard until then. There are projects to oversee C the fire station, the sewage treatment plant. There's a lot to wrap up."
Southern notes that his first year in the position was spent rebuilding without any overlap time with the previous city manager. "I have asked the council that they hire someone who can overlap" for about a month so that the two are able to create some continuity between staffing changes.
Council President Robert Peacock says, "He's done a good job for the city." Referring to the previous city manager, George "Bud" Finch, Peacock adds, "Any time you follow someone who has been in a position for 15 years, it's a difficult transition for employees and constituents."
"He's done a fabulous job financially bringing in grants, over $2 million," Peacock comments. "I'm sorry to see Jon leaving." Peacock, who will be leaving the council in January, plans to give the new council president the search format that he and the previous councils used in their manager search.
New police chief
In other city employee news, interim Police Chief Mark Emery has been hired as the police chief. Southern reported the news the morning after the November 14 city council meeting. "We're happy to have a local guy in the position. He's done a great job as interim chief," Southern said. The city received 10 applications, with three of them from local residents.