MONMOUTH — After 44 years in the business of town managing, Curtis Lunt will retire after working the last 12 years for Monmouth. 

“Curt really goes out of his way to do his all for the town,” said Tim McDonald, vice chairperson of the Monmouth Select Board. 

Monmouth is the sixth town Lunt has managed. Other municipalities he has led include Lisbon, where he is a resident; Skowhegan; Monson; Veazie; and Conway, New Hampshire. 

“The employees are really good here,” Lunt said, pointing out his office window where a foreman was mowing the lawn of the Town Office. “That is the asset the town has that’s worth more than the infrastructure.”

“He gets along well with the department heads, and he has hired great people,” said C. Douglas Ludewig, chairperson of the Select Board. 

Lunt thought his favorite projects would be building constructions, but developing parks and trails turned out to be the highlight. He said he was surprised that developing the paved trails along the Androscoggin River was the best project he undertook for Lisbon.

Monmouth Town Manager Curt Lunt poses for a portrait July 3 in Monmouth. Lunt will be retiring from his job with the town in October. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan

“Initially, I thought this was a waste of money — we need pavement for the roads — but it turned out to be the best thing we did,” he said. 

In Monmouth, the memorable projects are the town beach on Cochnewagon Pond and sidewalk on Academy Street. 

“He has worked on (the sidewalk) for years,” McDonald said, “and we are finally getting it done.” 

“Even though the buildings seem more substantial, the parks and trails are more popular in the end,” he added. “We probably cannot invest enough in them.” 

Lunt believes he is the state’s longest-serving town manager. 

The Maine Municipal Association does not keep definitive records on the longest serving municipal manager, said Eric Conrad, Director of Communication & Educational Services. 

“But Curtis would be right up there,” he said, stating Casco’s town manager retired after 42 years.

Little has changed about the profession because it is all about serving people, said the 69-year-old Lunt, but communication has changed.

“(Taxpayers) do not come to Town Meetings or open meetings like they used to,” he said. “It is more difficult than ever to get people in your face to talk to them.” 

Lunt said he cannot improve systems in the town if he cannot hear what people have for needs, and so he has always had an open door policy in his office to have more interaction. 

“I like when people come in and tell me their ditch in front of their house needs to be repaired or ‘my taxes are too high,’” he said. 

Keeping taxes reasonable while improving systems has been Lunt’s toughest challenge as a town manager. To combat this, he anticipates the needs of the town through long-term capital planning and keeps municipal budget increases to just inflationary rises. 

“Curt knew everything that was going to come up or would come along,” Ludewig said. “The town is in good shape, has been in good shape since he started working (here).”

He describes Monmouth as a growing rural suburb where the community is active. The town has roughly 4,000 residents, and the population bumps up to 5,000 to 6,000 in the summer.  

Lunt predicts the town will continue to grow because the new Monmouth school will “be a boom for the town.” 

The challenge for the next town manager, in light of Monmouth’s growth: How will the town continue to change, and what are people going to want?

The Monmouth Select Board has hired the Maine Municipal Association to conduct a search for a new town manager, Ludewig said. Lunt’s contract with a salary of around $75,000 runs until mid-October. 

“Curt has been a good friend, and he’s made a lot of friends in town,” Ludewig said. “They’ll be sorry to see him go.”

Lunt and his wife, Sally Lunt, have been married 43 years. They have two sons, including Mark Lunt, who is a member of the Lisbon Town Council. 

“This public service stuff runs in the family,” said Curtis Lunt, who has been a member of the Lisbon Planning Board for seven years and was just appointed for a three-year term.

“He’s gone out of his way to take on and do community service,” McDonald said. “He shows up and helps with lots of volunteer functions.” 

During retirement, Lunt hopes to focus time on hobbies that he hasn’t been able to develop like duck and turkey hunting and golf. He also enjoys bicycling and kayaking. For now, Sally will continue working, and the couple plans to continue living in Lisbon. 


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