AUGUSTA — The City Council has selected Augusta’s former police chief as its next city manager.

In a unanimous vote Thursday night, Jared Mills was appointed to the position starting April 1. City councilors authorized a three-year contract that would keep Mills in the job until at least March 2027.

The Augusta City Council has selected Jared Mills, now the assistant city manager and human resources director, as city manager. The city’s former police chief, Mills, 49, is to succeed City Manager Susan Robertson, who has announced her plan to retire at the end of March. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Mills, 49, will  succeed Susan Robertson, who has served as city manager since 2021 and recently announced her plan to retire. Robertson will resign at the end of March.

Mayor Mark O’Brien said city councilors’ support for Mills is evidence of the confidence they have in him.

Managing the city of Augusta, with a population of almost 19,000, is the first city manager’s job for Mills, who was promoted to police chief in 2018. Mills added assistant city manager to his police chief’s duties in 2022. He retired as police chief in November, and became the city’s full-time assistant city manager and human resources director in December.

Mills is expected to be paid $159,099 a year, which matches Robertson’s current salary.


After working with Mills for more than two years, Robertson said he has a good understanding of the city manager’s role and Augusta’s form of government. She said his experience leading the city’s Police Department should help, as should his familiarity with the community and his positive outlook.

“I’m sure there will be some learning curve,” Robertson said. “I think he’s got a great future. He’s got a great personality, he works hard, he’s a quick learner, he’s smart and I think he’ll be a good manager.”

Robertson, 64, said she opted to step down as city manager a few months earlier than planned in part because some family members recently moved to Maine and she wants to spend time with them. She also said it is more desirable to start her retirement before summer, not in October, as previously planned.

After working almost 40 years in municipal government, she said she plans to take a break when she finishes working for Augusta. She plans to remain active and, after some time off, she said she might look to get involved again in local government or other activities.

At-Large Councilor Courtney Gary-Allen thanked Robertson for her unwavering dedication and selfless commitment to the city of Augusta.

“Time and time again, you’ve risen to the occasion, stepping up when we’ve needed you the most,” Gary-Allen said.


O’Brien said the city was fortunate when Robertson agreed to step up from her role as assistant city manager in 2021 to become city manager after William Bridgeo retired. A search for Bridgeo’s successor drew a modest pool of applicants, and officials convinced Robertson to become city manager although she had not applied for the job.

Mills, who was born in Portland and grew up in Winslow, moved to Augusta in 2016. He and his wife, Vivian, have two daughters, Jasmyne, who is studying at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, and Jieselle, a sophomore at Cony High School.

Mills holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, and a master’s degree in public policy from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. He teaches courses on government at the University of Maine at Augusta.

Mills said he is honored and humbled to become Augusta’s city manager. When first hired as a patrol officer, he said, his goal was to retire as a patrol sergeant; he never imagined he would become city manager.

He said his roles with the city have provided him many opportunities to learn and grow.

Bridgeo, who hired Mills as a patrolman in 1998 and attended the City Council meeting Thursday night, said he watched as Mills became “maybe the best police officer Augusta has had in modern times.”

Bridgeo described Mills as a born leader.

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