Gov. Paul LePage appointed Auburn Mayor Jonathan P. LaBonte as director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management on Wednesday. LaBonte will take over the leadership of the office from Richard Rosen, who has been appointed acting commissioner of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

“(LaBonte) has a deep understanding of municipal, county and state budgets, and he is not afraid to propose bold and innovative solutions that protect the taxpayer, but continue to provide services more efficiently and with less cost. We appreciate his out-of-the-box thinking, and we welcome his knowledge and his enthusiasm for moving the state forward,” said LePage, according to a news release from the state.

LaBonte was the executive director of the Androscoggin Land Trust and widely credited with opening access to the river for recreational purposes. In addition to serving his second term as mayor of Auburn, he also served as a county commissioner in Androscoggin County.

A native of Auburn, LaBonte graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maine in Orono. He worked at a consulting firm in Massachusetts before returning to Maine for graduate courses in public administration and governance at the University of Maine, according to the release. LaBonte has served as a municipal policy consultant in higher education and transportation planning.

He has been named to the MaineBiz “Next” list, which features individuals who are predicted to influence Maine’s economy, as well as to MaineToday Media’s “Forty under 40” list, which recognizes young leaders under 40 who are making a difference in the business community and throughout the state.

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