GARDINER — Anne Davis, the Gardiner Public Library director, has been appointed interim city manager to serve after the departure in early March of Scott Morelli.

The move follows a proposal by city department heads to the Gardiner City Council, in which Davis would take on city manager duties, and the department heads also would take on additional duties.

“We need you to find the best candidate for the Gardiner City Manager position and by allowing you to focus on this search rather than a search for an interim and then a permanent manager seems like the best plan and may bring the permanent candidate on board quicker,” the memo from the staff reads. “Staff will certainly be available to help with the search, but why not search just once?”

The department heads calculated that filling the position this way will produce savings for the city.

Each of the managers will receive a bump in pay for six months for covering the city manager’s duties. Davis will receive $325 extra a week and the department heads will receive $175 extra a week. The library’s assistant director and the economic development coordinator will also receive a bump. If no city manager is hired in six months, the agreement will be renegotiated.

City elected officials approved the move at the close of Wednesday’s City Council meeting, after an executive session on the subject.

On Feb. 1, Morelli announced he had accepted the city manager position in South Portland. His last day in Gardiner will be March 3.

Elected city officials will consider hiring the Maine Municipal Association to conduct the search. They were scheduled to hear the proposal at their Feb. 15 meeting, but that was canceled because of stormy weather. The council has scheduled a special meeting for March 8 at which the proposal will be heard.

Davis was interim city manager for 10 months after Jeff Kobrock resigned as city manager in 2009. City councilors were not able to reach an agreement on renewing Kobrock’s contract.

Davis will start the job at 3:31 p.m. March 3 after Morelli relinquishes his duties.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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