WATERVILLE — Catherine Palmer has resigned as executive director of the Waterville Opera House a little more than a month after she was hired for the position.

Palmer, 65, contacted Wednesday afternoon, declined to detail her reasons for resigning except to say that it was personal.

“I would like them to find the person they need to take them where they want to go,” Palmer said in a telephone interview. “I regret that I’m not that person. I’m still a donor. It’s a wonderful organization.”

Asked what she will do now, Palmer said she did not know. “Something will come up. I’ll search.”

Her last day on the job will be Friday, according to Jim LaLiberty, chairman of the Opera House board of directors. Palmer started in the executive director’s position July 1.

“I think the reason that she’s leaving is that she decided the job was not the right fit for her,” LaLiberty said Wednesday. “She talked with us about it and she’s a decisive person, and I respect her integrity, that once she came to a decision that the job wasn’t the right fit, she told us about it.”

LaLiberty said that in the short time she was executive director, she had some good ideas and suggestions for the Opera House.

“We have nothing but good wishes for her,” he said. “I think you have to respect her integrity and decisiveness. It was not an easy decision for her to make. She was concerned that we have an executive director who can take the organization in the direction she wanted it to go, and she felt she wasn’t the right person to do that.”

Palmer replaced former executive director Diane Bryan, who was at the helm 11 years and has worked at the Opera House for a total of 15 years.

LaLiberty said Bryan, who now is the Opera House’s production consultant, will serve as interim executive director after Palmer leaves on Friday.

“And we will begin a new job search,” LaLiberty said.

Palmer, of Augusta, was executive director of Marginal Way Preservation Fund in Ogunquit before coming to Waterville.

In an interview with the Morning Sentinel after she was hired in Waterville, Palmer said she presented the Opera House board of directors with a personal 90-day to-do list that included building relationships with key employees, business partners and donors; buying two memberships for her spouse; creating a planned giving program; updating the strategic plan; working with Waterville Creates!; and preparing a report for the board.

At the time, LaLiberty said the board was pleased to have Palmer’s guidance in advancing public support for the Opera House. He said she would work to expand theater offerings and fund an annual operations budget of more than $600,000.

Palmer vowed at the time to “build a legacy.”

“I’m going to work to put the Opera House into the current day and age. This is my last career, and it’s going to be my most challenging, my most rewarding and the most fun.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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