WINTHROP — Winthrop has hired Jeffrey Kobrock to be its next town manager.

A former city manager for the town of Gardiner, Kobrock stood out to the Town Council for his experience both in management and economic growth.

Kobrock served most recently as the executive director for the Midcoast Council of Governments and Midcoast Economic Development District, economic and community development organizations.

“It’s a combination of his experience both in town management and economic development, something Winthrop is in need of right now,” said Sarah Fuller, chair of the council.

Having served communities on both the municipal and regional level, Kobrock said, he was ready to work at the municipal level again.

“Working at the regional level is really fascinating, but I just find the municipal level to be much more rewarding on a daily basis,” he said during an interview Thursday in Farmingdale.

“The challenges are more tangible, and the rewards more immediate and noticeable.”

A resident of Gardiner, Kobrock said he is excited to work in central Maine again, an area of the state he sees as an authentic and nice place to live and work.

What was attractive to him about Winthrop was the leadership.

“You can often create assets you need to be successful, but leadership isn’t something you can create. To find it at the elected and appointed level is really encouraging,” he said.  

Kobrock’s management will come on the heels of a large deficit caused by a mistake in 2015 when a revenue item in the school budget was counted twice.

Fuller thinks his experience at the Midcoast organizations will bring the potential for economic development and capital improvement to the town, “things we want to do to move forward after budget issues.

“Everybody is ready to put difficulties aside and capitalize on the momentum,” Fuller said.  

Winthrop council members and department heads interviewed Kobrock. His application was one of around 25, Fuller said.

“Jeff had a good rapport with the staff and the goals we have,” Fuller said. “We are all really excited to see what we’ll accomplish.”

According to a press release, Kobrock’s contract will be for one year with a three-year renewal. It also states that his annual salary will be $94,000.

Kobrock will replace Ryan Frost as town manager, who is also the town’s police chief. Frost managed the town for almost two years.

“It’s nothing short of amazing that (Frost) wore both hats simultaneously,” Fuller said, adding that Frost has been part of the police department since he was a junior police officer.

Kobrock will start managing April 1, when the council will meet to begin budget talks. 

Kobrock and his family enjoy spending time in the outdoors, camping, canoeing and skiing, and they own a camp in Bridgton, his hometown. They also own two wilderness camps in Quebec near Ottawa, which were left to Kobrock, unbeknownst to him, by his uncle.

His wife works in the Lisbon school district, and his daughter will soon graduate from the University of Maine with a masters in human development.

 

Abigail Austin — 621-5631
[email protected]
Twitter: @AbigailAustinKJ

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