Winthrop Town Manager Jeff Kobrock’s last day on the job is expected to be Friday. Above, he stands in March 2022 on Norcross Point near Maranacook Lake in Winthrop. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

WINTHROP — Jeff Kobrock, the embattled town manager in Winthrop, will leave his job several months earlier than planned.

He is to be replaced by Steve Eldridge, whom the Town Council named as interim town manager during a special meeting Wednesday night.

Kobrock, 65, announced in January he was resigning after dealing with what he described as some of the worst bullying, threats and harassment he has faced in his career. Much of the harassment, he said, was the result of a controversial ordinance that regulates boat moorings.

Residents angered by the policy said they were unfairly targeted by the ordinance, which they said represents multiple conflicts of interest, and have threatened legal action against the town.

A small group of residents then “adopted a personal mission” to attack the town’s staff members and leadership, Kobrock said. Meanwhile, the town is drafting a new mooring ordinance.

When he announced his departure, Kobrock said his last day would be July 5, the date on which is contract expires. He said he provided six months notice to give the town more time to find a new manager, and to get through the busy period between January and July that involves setting the budget.


Council Chairperson Sarah Fuller told the Kennebec Journal on Wednesday that some councilors had asked if Kobrock could leave sooner.

“That made him fairly uncomfortable in his position,” Fuller said, “and so he decided to accelerate the timeline.”

According to Fuller, Kobrock’s last day is Friday.

Kobrock, whose salary is $112,466 a year, was hired in 2019.

Kobrock did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment and was not present during the special meeting.

As part of the separation agreement, Kobrock is to be paid for the remainder of his term.


Eldridge said he retired a little over a year ago, but has experience working as town manager in several Maine communities, including Vinalhaven, Lisbon and Rumford.

The Town Council appointed him by unanimous vote. He is to be paid $400 per day until Kobrock’s successor is found.

Eldridge will also serve as the town’s treasurer and tax collector.

He told the Town Council he has lived in Monmouth for 33 years, and before that Connecticut.

“I still am passionate about local government,” Eldridge said, “so I am very willing to come here and help you out until you find the the right fit for you.”

“We appreciate you stepping up and offering to do that with us,” Fuller said before town councilors held their unanimous vote.

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