Kelly Pinney-Michaud is scheduled to take over Jan. 1 as the town manager in Oakland. Pinney-Michaud, who has been the interim town manager since the departure of Ella Bowman, is shown Thursday outside the Oakland Town Office at 6 Cascade Mill Road. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

OAKLAND — Interim Town Manager Kelly Pinney-Michaud is to become town manager Jan. 1, after the Oakland Town Council voted 5-0 on Wednesday night to hire her.

Pinney-Michaud, 50, has served as interim town manager since Oct. 10, the day the council accepted Town Manager Ella Bowman’s resignation.

Bowman, now the town manager in Winslow, had been placed on paid, nondisciplinary administrative leave Aug. 23 by the Oakland council for reasons officials would not divulge, although Bowman said she had been told some employees had filed a complaint against her.

Wednesday’s Town Council agenda did not indicate councilors would be discussing the open town manager’s position, although three executive sessions were listed at the end, with two designated as personnel matters and the other concerning the acquisition of property.

At the end of the meeting, which lasted about 30 minutes, council Chairman Mike Perkins announced councilors were going to enter an executive session, and he did not know if any votes would be taken afterward. He said if people wanted to wait in the hallway or inside their vehicles, they should indicate that so someone could call them in later.

“But I don’t believe there’s going to be much of any voting on anything tonight,” Perkins said.


Pinney-Michaud notified the Morning Sentinel on Thursday of the council’s vote to hire her as town manager.

“It’s an exciting time for Oakland,” Pinney-Michaud said. “We’re growing. People are building houses. Ella did a great job moving Oakland forward, and I just want to continue that.”

Contacted later Thursday, Perkins said town councilors decided not to conduct a search for a new manager because they felt they had the right person in Pinney-Michaud. She does a “phenomenal job” on budgets and is well-liked in town, according to Perkins.

“As we all know,” he said, “it’s hard to find good town managers out there, so we felt we had the right choice.”

Perkins said no input from the public is needed when hiring for such a position.

“It’s entirely up to the council,” he said, later noting Bowman had been hired as town manager from an in-house position in the Police Department.


“We did very well with the last town manager,” Perkins said, “and we expect we will do very well with this town manager.”

Bowman, who was a police officer in Oakland for 15 years before becoming town manager, served nearly 10 years in the latter role. When she left the town manager’s job in Oakland, Bowman was earning an annual salary of$95,000, plus benefits and a car allowance.

Pinney-Michaud said Thursday her salary as manager had yet to be negotiated

In February, Pinney-Michaud will enter her fifth year working for the town, where she has served as finance director and human resources director. As town manager, she is to supervise 47 full-time employees and about 50 part-time workers. After being named interim town manager, she said, she met with and explained her management style to employees.

“I told my department heads: ‘You guys are professionals in your departments. You run your crews. And if you need me, I’m here.’ I will not micromanage them. We have a great crew of department heads that are very knowledgeable and experienced, and I’m going to rely on them until I can get my feet under me.”

Pinney-Michaud and her sister, Kerry, grew up in Oakland, where their parents, Verne and Jeanie Pinney, still live and where her father has had a business, K&K Land Surveyors Inc., since 1974.


Pinney-Michaud graduated in 1992 from Messalonskee High School in Oakland, and earned a bachelor’s degree in science, focusing on health education, at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, where she played basketball.

She worked at Colby College in Waterville for five years as administrative assistant in the athletics department, overseeing female sports programs. She was then promoted to assistant director of administrative financial services and served in that position for 11 years. While in that job, Pinney-Michaud earned a master of business administration degree from Thomas College in Waterville.

She said she is excited about becoming town manager.

“There’s a little bit of an unknown, but I have the mentality that if I don’t know the answer or don’t know how to do it, I’ll find out,” Pinney-Michaud said. “I don’t like failure. I’ve never really experienced a lot of failure in my life.”

Asked if there is anything specific on which she will focus as town manager, she said committee meetings have resumed: A Memorial Hall Renovation Committee meeting was held Monday and the All-Terrain Vehicle Ordinance Committee met Thursday. She said ATV trail riding is popular in Oakland and the state has mentioned putting a park and ride in town.

“I would like to see downtown developed,” Pinney-Michaud said, adding there are empty buildings that could be used for businesses, such as a pub-style restaurant and possibly a coffee or bagel shop.

“I’ve established a downtown TIF (tax increment financing) committee,” she said, “and we have our first meeting Nov. 30.”

Pinney-Michaud and her husband, Earl Michaud, who has worked for years on the Colby College grounds crew, have two daughters: Hannah, who lives in Beverly, Massachusetts, and Chloe, a junior at Messalonskee High School.

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