MONMOUTH — Monmouth began the new year with a new town manager. Justin Poirier, who formerly served as Chebeague Island’s town administrator, officially started working with Monmouth on Jan. 1.

Since starting out, Poirier, 39, said his experience has been great.

Justin Poirier began working as Monmouth’s town manager on Jan. 1. Contributed photo

“The community has been very welcoming and the staff is great,” he said. “I look forward to diving into the budget and learning about everyone’s priorities.”

Poirier said the budget process, which is just beginning, will likely illuminate some of the town’s major priorities.

Outgoing Town Manager Linda Cohen now serves on South Portland’s City Council representing District 4. Cohen, along with Mayor Misha Pride, were elected to the council in a close race last November.

The Monmouth selectboard accepted Cohen’s resignation on Aug. 25, and during this meeting also voted to move forward with an internal recruitment process. Cohen served as Monmouth’s town manager since Dec. 9, 2019, and brought along years of municipal experience, including serving as president of the Maine Municipal Association.

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Before serving as Monmouth’s manager, Cohen had previously served on the South Portland council as mayor.

Poirier was appointed as Chebeague Island’s town administrator in mid-December 2020, where he also served as treasurer, finance director, road commissioner, general assistance administrator, and Freedom of Access Act administrator.

The Chebeague Island Selectboard reluctantly accepted his resignation on Dec. 1 and wished him the best in Monmouth.

“It is with reluctance that I accept the resignation of Justin Poirier as our town administrator,” said Selectman Mark Dyer, “but I wish him well in his next venture up in Monmouth.”

Poirier was unanimously accepted as town manager by the Monmouth select board on Nov. 3, according to the meeting minutes. In addition to town manager, his duties include town clerk, treasurer, tax collector, road commissioner, health officer and general assistance administrator.

His contract is for three years with a starting salary of $81,424 per year.

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Prior to his time on Chebeague Island, Poirier held a variety of positions related to municipal government for over a decade, including as an urban development specialist for the city of Auburn, the director of the Maine Revenue Services’ property tax division, director of community development for the city of Bath, and administrative assistant for the Pownal Board of Selectmen.

Poirier holds a bachelor of arts degree in public management from the University of Maine, and a master of public policy degree from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

He said he almost applied for Monmouth’s town manager position the last time it was open, but that it “wasn’t the right time.” Now, he said he looks forward “to the professional challenge of running a larger, more full-service municipality.”

He describes Monmouth as a “great community with great amenities,” including Cumston Hall, the waterfront and outdoor opportunities.

“Central Maine is my home,” he said. “I grew up in Belgrade and my family lives in the greater Augusta area. My children attend Winthrop Grade School, where my son plays football; one side of his helmet has an ‘M’ on it for Monmouth. So it felt like home to me.”

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