SKOWHEGAN — The Board of Selectmen this week approved an amended contract between the town and Town Manager Christine Almand.

The contract, in place until Dec. 31, 2018, now includes a 2 percent raise in pay, Almand, 39, said Wednesday.

“Every year when they give my evaluation, there’s the possibility for us to talk about money,” she said. “So that’s the change — the 2 percent increase.”

Under the terms of the amended contract, approved by selectmen Tuesday night, Almand is paid $1,337.77 per week, including the 2 percent raise, or about $69,500 a year, effective Jan. 1, 2018. She also receives benefits generally provided to other full-time department heads in town government, including health insurance, holidays and 20 days of vacation each year.

“I appreciate the increase and it feels good that we’ve been able to work as a team to achieve our goals,” Almand said Wednesday.

Almand said some of the high points of her term as town manager include amenable negotiations with Sappi North America on property valuations, a townwide revaluation of properties for taxation, the continuing combined sewer overflow project and bargaining agreements with union and non-union employees.

Her duties as town manager also include those of the town tax collector, emergency management director, general assistance officer, tree warden, public safety commissioner, purchasing agent and agent to the overseers of the poor.

Almand, the town’s finance and human resource director since 2007, was hired as the new town manager in May 2014, taking over for John Doucette Jr., who stepped down in January of that year.

The five-member Board of Selectmen handled the interview process that year, with guidance from Maine Municipal Association, and made the selection from an original field of more than 30 candidates.

Almand is the second woman to be town manager in Skowhegan. Patricia Dickey, who retired in September 2004, also held the position.

Betty Austin, then-chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, who remains on the board while serving as a state representative in Augusta, said Almand had 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 in 2014. “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 said she received her training on the job at various positions since her high school days in Woodbridge, Virginia, where she was a department head of a retail store while still a teenager. She briefly attended Northern Virginia Community College.

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.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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