HALLOWELL — City Council has extended City Manager Gary Lamb’s contract until August 2025 and granted him a 7% salary increase.

The raise, which officials said is a cost-of-living adjustment similar to what other municipal employees in Hallowell have received, brings his annual salary to nearly $100,000.

Gary Lamb

The council approved the new contract in a 5-1 vote on Jan. 9. Councilor Patrick Wynne was the only one to vote against the renewal and did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

The contract takes effect on Aug. 8.

The discussion surrounding Lamb’s contract and job performance was held during an executive session, meaning it was closed off to the public. But Mayor George Lapointe said on Tuesday that the conversation between councilors about Lamb was “very positive.”

“We like what he’s doing with the city, and we like how he communicates with us,” said Lapointe. “So the extension of the contract was a show of support for what he’s doing, and that we want him to continue.”

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Lamb began working as city manager in August 2021, with a starting salary of $90,000. He received a 3% pay increase last August and the recently approved 7% increase will bring his annual earnings to $99,189.

Lapointe said the 7% cost-of-living adjustment falls in line with other municipal salary increases, which were made due to the current state of inflation.

The Consumer Price Index, a widely used metric to track inflation, showed prices in the Northeast increased 6.1% over the last year as of December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was more than 7% for most of 2022 but was last reported over 7% in September.

Lapointe said he has enjoyed working with Lamb.

“As mayor, I interact with the city manager almost every day,” he said. “Whether it’s for a short-term issue or strategic planning, those interactions are always good. I’ve found it to be easy and pleasurable and expect that to continue.”

Councilor Kate Dufour also commended Lamb for his communication skills with city officials and residents alike.

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“He’s very bright,” said Dufour. “He understands local government. He’s an excellent communicator. He keeps us apprised of what’s going on and he truly has an open-door policy. If he’s in the office, anyone can pop in and have a conversation with him.”

When residents speak about issues during the council meeting’s public comment block, Dufour said it’s not uncommon to see Lamb follow-up with them after the meeting.

“He is tremendously focused on getting the information he needs to make decisions for himself, as well as to inform the council’s decision-making process,” she said.

Lamb said he looks forward to continuing to serve the city.

“My evaluation went well with good, frank discussion, positive comments on my performance and areas to work on improving,” said Lamb. “I was very pleased with the discussion and appreciate the feedback, contract extension, and (cost-of-living) increase.”

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