SKOWHEGAN — Christine L. Almand, the town’s finance and human resource director since 2007, has been selected to become the new town manager.
Almand, 35, of Skowhegan, is to be sworn in Tuesday night after a formal vote during the regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen. The five-member board handled the interview process, with guidance from Maine Municipal Association, and made the selection from an original field of more than 30 candidates.
“It’s very exciting to have the vote of confidence of the selectmen and to be given this opportunity,” Almand said Friday.
She takes over for former Town Manager John Doucette Jr., who stepped down in January.
Almand is the second woman to be town manager in Skowhegan, according to Lynda Quinn, a former Skowhegan selectwoman and current chairwoman of the Somerset County Commissioners. Patricia Dickey, who retired in September 2004, also held the position.
Quinn, 67, said she and Jean Carrigan were the first women to be elected to the Skowhegan Board of Selectmen, in 1984.
Skowhegan Road Commissioner Greg Dore originally said he would be a candidate for the position when Doucette retired, but later withdrew his name.
Betty Austin, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, said Almand has a number of qualities that made her the winning candidate.
“Probably her greatest strength is she is very intelligent and is able to pick up things and run with them very well,” Austin said. “There were some good candidates, but some of the ways that she is flexible and able to run with things is probably what made the difference.”
Almand starts Wednesday at a salary of about $67,000, which is $21,000 more than she was making as finance and human resource director. Her probationary contract is for 12 months.
The town manager also is as tax collector, public safety commissioner, emergency management director, purchasing agent, general assistance director, agent to overseers of the poor and tree warden.
Almand is married to Joseph Almand, who is employed by Dionne and Son Builders, and they have three children.
Almand said she received her training on the job at various positions since her high school days in Woodbridge Va., where she was a department head of a retail store while still a teenager. She briefly attended Northern Virginia Community College, but does not have a degree.
“I’ve had quite a bit of life and work experience with various types of people at all levels,” she said. “I’ve held several different managerial positions throughout my history, starting out very early, which was a challenge. Training never stops. I’m a very resourceful person and have the financial experience to do the job.”
Before she was hired in Skowhegan, Almand worked in accounting and quality control at Huhtamaki packaging in Waterville and was a bookkeeper for two nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C.
As finance director in Skowhegan, Almand worked with a $9.7 million annual municipal budget and as human resource director, handled 59 full time employees and 75 overall town workers.