GARDINER — After a brief executive session Wednesday, Gardiner Mayor Thom Harnett announced that Christine Landes has been hired as Gardiner’s city manager.

Landis, who signed her contract at the close of the City Council meeting, said she was looking forward to her position in Gardiner.

Her starting date will be Aug. 13. That will be the 20th anniversary of her start at working for muncipalities; that’s the date she started working for the town of Warren, her hometown, in 1998.

“I want people to know my door will be open for conversation, complaints and compliments,” Landes, 48, said in brief comments to the council after her appointment was announced. “My door is always open.”

After she takes on her duties, she said she plans to spend time meeting with department heads and learning about what’s going on in the city.

“It will be a learning process,” she said.

District 4 City Councilor Marc Rines acknowledged the time spent by the City Council and the contributions of city department heads and residents during the search.

Landes spent time in Gardiner on May 1, when she came to meet with the City Council, city department heads and Gardiner residents as part of the interview process.

She was the second of two candidates to visit; the other was Michael Bobinsky, now director of public works and utilities in Somersworth, New Hampshire. He had worked in Portland for 12 years until his departure in 2015.

During her visit, she recalled traveling through Gardiner when she was growing up and was taken by its charm.

She said Gardiner shares many of the problems that all communities face — lack of affordable housing, an aging workforce of municipal workers and balancing growth and development with preserving the city’s character.

Before started as town manager in Bethel in November 2014, she worked deputy city clerk in Brewer for a year and seven months and deputy town clerk in Veazie for two months. From July 2010 to September 2012, she worked as the Clay County tax collector in Orange Park, Florida. For 12 years before that, she was the Warren town clerk.

The search for a permanent city manager started in March 2017 after Scott Morelli, who had served in that post for seven years, accepted the city manager position in South Portland.

In the meantime, Anne Davis, the Gardiner Public Library director, has served as interim city manager, as she did before Morelli was hired.

Under the terms of Landes’ contract, her salary will be $80,000.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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