CHELSEA — Christine Landes hopes to help shepherd more community growth as the new town manager.

Christine Landes

Landes pointed to two  groups — Community Heart & Soul, which surveys towns on what they would like to see, and Age Friendly, which brings programs and opportunity for the aging population in the town — as having ties to the town that could help in community-building efforts.

“Though they don’t have a main street, there is lots of opportunity for business,” she said of Chelsea. “It’s a bedroom town to Augusta — there are a lot of state employees that live here and (there’s) Togus (veterans hospital), and exciting development that can happen. Sprawl is happening everywhere.”

Landes recently served as city manager in Gardiner and then as town manager in New Gloucester. She has been on the job in Chelsea for about two weeks and sees potential to address community needs with buy-in from residents.

Landes, who is also president of the Maine Town and City Managers Association, took the place of former Town Manager Scott Tilton and will be paid a salary of $85,000 a year.

She has been a town clerk or town manager in many corners of the state and thinks her experience with other organizations will benefit her new role with the town.


Landes got her start as a town clerk in Warren, the town she grew up in, after starting her career as a banker.

After 12 years in Warren, she moved with her husband to Jacksonville, Florida, for his job, and she worked as a tax collector. Around three years later, she came back to Maine and moved to the Bangor area, where she worked for the town of Veazie and then later, the town of Brewer, where she served as the deputy city clerk before the city eliminated the position. She made a stop in Bethel as the town manager before becoming city manager of Gardiner in 2018.

She had a “mutual agreement” with the City Council to not renew her contract and Landes left the city in March 2021. She was hired as town manager in New Gloucester in May 2021.

“I quickly got tired of the long commute,” she said and wanted to be closer to her family. Her daughter lives in China and Landes and her husband live in Gardiner. Together, they have two sons — one that lives in Alaska and another that lives in Missouri.

Landes has an undergraduate degree in public administration from the University of Maine at Augusta and a master’s in business with a concentration in public policy from Southern New Hampshire University. She is currently working on her second master’s degree in organizational leadership from the University of Southern Maine.

When the job in Chelsea opened up — Tilton left the position on June 24 — Landes was reminded of the “small town feeling” her hometown of Warren had, and yet the town has more opportunity for growth being next to the larger communities of Augusta and Gardiner.


“There is an opportunity to write grants and see where we can grow from here,” she said.

The town of Chelsea has just under 3,000 residents and belongs to the Regional School Unit 12 school district.

Although Landes started as a banker, she has grown to love the position of being a town manager.

“I love the democratic process and I love that everyone shapes and molds their communities by giving an opportunity for growth to happen,” she said. “… Everyone just wants to be happy where their home is.”

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.