WINSLOW — After searching through a candidate pool of 30, the Winslow Town Council offered the job of town manager to Erica LaCroix, and announced that she had taken the job on Monday.

LaCroix, whose roots are in Mount Vernon, will be stepping up as town manager on Oct. 15, making her the first woman to hold the position.

Paul Fongemie, interim town manager, said in a phone call Tuesday that LaCroix was selected during an executive session Monday evening to take over the position that longtime Town Manager Michael Heavener held for 14 years. Heavener retired earlier in the summer.

“Everybody is excited to have her,” Fongemie said. “She will bring different dynamics to the table.”

Fongemie said that LaCroix originally comes from central Maine but is currently located in Georgia. She has experience as an administrator, handling maintenance and operations budgets, and public works tasks.

The process of hiring a new town manager began earlier in the summer, when the town hired a recruitment firm that brought in 30 applicants. From there, the firm whittled the list of applicants to 10 to 12 candidates. That was later shortened to three candidates, who were interviewed via Zoom before coming to the town to meet the staff.


Because of the pandemic and testing requirements, Fongemie said, it was difficult to get through the in-person interview process because of planning logistics, which caused one applicant to back out.

Looking ahead, Fongemie, who is also the director of Public Works in Winslow, said some of the challenges LaCroix will face are revenues and expenses and helping with managing the upcoming school year in the midst of the pandemic. He added that the numbers for revenue sharing are “not as scary” as the town anticipated.

“Roads and streets are another big ticket item for us,” he said. “We’ve kind of fallen behind on some of them. That’s something she’s going to have to work on.”

“Everybody seems to feel that with her background, she has strong skill sets for municipal-type work,” Fongemie said. “She knows government work, definitely has some learning to do as far as how this state operates and how our specific laws are.”

He anticipates that one area that she will gain experience in is the “politics of dealing with town council and citizens.”

“I don’t know how much exposure she’s had to that,” he said.


LaCroix’s experience working in other states will be an asset enabling her to provide guidance in several areas, Fongemie said.

“I am excited to see what she brings to the table,” he said. “She can provide a different perspective in this all-male environment, and it will be great to get a woman in here that has a background like hers. We look forward to her coming.”

He added that Heavener will join LaCroix when she begins her job to help train and assist.

LaCroix did not respond to Morning Sentinel inquiries by late Tuesday afternoon.

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