GARDINER — Gardiner officials announced Wednesday that Andrew R. Carlton had been named city manager.

“Andy brings years of management experience, including as chief administrator of a complex and large organization, that will serve him well as city  manager of a service center municipality,” Mayor Patricia Hart said Wednesday night.

Hart said members of the City Council are confident Carlton will be able to learn municipal government and about the city in southern Kennebec County.

“We welcome Andy and look forward to working with him,” she said.

Andrew R. Carlton Submitted photo

Carlton, 41, has been superintendent of the Wales-area school district since 2017. He lives in Fairfield with his wife and four children.

Carlton met with city residents and officials at a March 28 public meeting, during which he said he sees much overlap between school and municipal administration.

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He is expected to begin work for the city June 6 at a starting salary of $115,000 a year, plus benefits.

“I am incredibly excited to begin working with the mayor, City Council, staff and residents of the City of Gardiner,” Carlton wrote to the Kennebec Journal on Thursday morning. “Throughout this hiring process what I have learned is that the City of Gardiner is made up of an amazing group of people who love their city and want it to continue to flourish today and into the future.

“I am honored to have been chosen for this position and look forward to June 6 to begin our work together.”

When Carlton arrives, city officials should be close to completing the city’s proposed budget, which elected officials are expected to start considering next month, a paving plan to address the condition of the city’s streets and a recently completed downtown master plan.

City officials are also looking for a contractor to undertake a review of city facilities, many of which are outdated and need repair.

Robert English, chairman of the Regional School Unit 4 board of directors, said the city of Gardiner is gaining an outstanding administrator.

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“(Carlton) has been, by far, the best superintendent we have had in my 25 years on the board,” English said. “He has put together an excellent team of administrators and staff. He has worked very well with the board, providing sound guidance and carrying out the board’s policies and directives.”

English said Carlton, working with his team, guided the district through two years of educational challenges during the global COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining the highest level of education opportunities.

Carlton also led an effort across the district to organize classrooms, locating all of the same grade levels at the same building to increase teachers’ abilities to work together to educate students.

He also worked on a plan to build an addition at the district’s middle school to allow for closure of two older buildings.

“Bottom line, this is a real loss for the students, staff and communities of RSU 4,” English said. “Gardiner is getting an outstanding administrator.”

Carlton said the support he has received from his district, which serves Litchfield, Sabattus and Wales, means much to him.

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“I am incredibly grateful to have been able to be a part of this organization, in all of the varying roles I have had and the opportunities they have provided me, and I stand in awe of the work that goes on here everyday,” Carlton wrote.

Gardiner’s search for a city manager began about a year ago, when Christine Landes announced her resignation about three months before the end of her three-year contract.

At the time, Anne Davis was named acting city manager. Davis has stepped up before, most recently during the 17 months between the departure of Scott Morelli and when Landes was hired.

Hart said the City Council has extended gratitude to Davis for having served as the city’s administrative head during the search.

“Over her 30-year career, Anne has always stepped up to fill roles when needed,” Hart said. “This time, she delayed her well-earned retirement to serve as acting city manager for our city. We are grateful beyond measure for all she has done and continues to do for all of us.”

Davis, who had initially planned to retire in 2020, had agreed to stay on as acting city manager. She retired as director of the Gardiner Public Library in 2021, after completing the search to fill the library director’s position. Justin Hoenke began in that role at the end of 2021.

Davis also serves as the information technology director for the city.

Davis said when she finally completes her service to the city, she expects to work on literacy issues, do some gardening and spend time with her husband.

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