Chief David Bucknam of the Skowhegan Police Department, shown in 2020, is serving as the interim town manager. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

SKOWHEGAN — There are no immediate plans to permanently fill Skowhegan’s town manager position, municipal officials said this week.

The Board of Selectmen has had some informal conversations about hiring for the manager job but has not moved the process forward in the last month, according to Chair Todd Smith.

Interim Town Manager David Bucknam, who has been Skowhegan’s police chief since 2017, said he expects more serious conversations to begin in the new year.

Bucknam has filled the position on an interim basis since the previous town manager, Christine Almand, went on a monthslong medical-related leave earlier this year.

Almand eventually resigned on Nov. 6, after nearly a decade in the position. Selectmen officially appointed Bucknam as interim town manager on Nov. 14, though Bucknam had already been taking on many of the position’s day-to-day responsibilities in Almand’s absence.

“He’ll be in that role as long as we need,” Smith said about Bucknam.

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Selectmen could consider several options, Smith said, including continuing with Bucknam in the role, appointing another interim manager, or beginning the search process for new candidates.

Bucknam has not been paid more for the additional work he has taken on, according to Smith.

“He has actually said he doesn’t want any more for that role,” Smith said.

As for Bucknam, he said his days are full as he balances the two jobs, but he has relied on the support of several of the town’s longtime department heads.

“It’s a lot of work,” Bucknam said. “I think we’re managing just fine right now.”

Asked if he would consider taking the town manager position long-term, Bucknam said he hasn’t given the matter much thought.

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The situation in Skowhegan is not unusual, according to a spokesperson for the Maine Municipal Association.

“It is not uncommon for the police chief or other trusted municipal official to act as interim manager,” Kate Dufour, MMA’s director of advocacy and communications, wrote in an email. “Having someone in place who understands the day to day operations, allows the elected officials to focus on the recruitment and hiring process.”

In these instances, the interim manager often does not get paid two salaries, though the person filling the position may get an increase in pay depending on the circumstances, according to Dufour.

As an example, Dufour referenced the city of Ellsworth, where Glenn Moshier has been both police chief and city manager for the past three years.

In an unrelated matter, selectmen on Tuesday approved raises requested by Bucknam for him as police chief and the deputy police chief.

Bucknam will now make $95,860 annually as chief, about $5,200 more than his previous salary of $90,646. Deputy Chief Brian Gardiner’s salary will also be increased from $82,867 to $87,360.

Selectman Paul York noted before the board voted that the salary adjustment had been in the works for a while.

“This isn’t something that just has come up,” York said. “It just finally is getting addressed now.”

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