(from the January 2009 Maine Townsman)

Orrington Town Clerk Susan Carson was named interim town manager in late December until selectmen find a replacement for Carl Young, who recently accepted the job of tax assessor and code enforcement officer for the town of Tremont.

Ogunquit Town Manager Philip Clark, who retired at the end of 2008, received a standing ovation during a late December municipal luncheon attended by about 100 people. Clark retired after serving the town four years.

Portland councilors elected Jill Duson mayor in December, her second term in the past four years. She replaces Councilor Edward Suslovic. The board elects a new mayor of the state’s largest city annually.

South Portland City Councilor Thomas Blake was sworn in as mayor on December 1, calling for more cooperation and unity. The vote was unanimous for Blake, who is starting his second year on the board.

Mathew Eddy, who ran the city of Brunswick’s economic and community development efforts for five years, resigned last month to take a job in the private sector. Eddy was hired as executive director of the Eaton Peabody Consulting Group in Augusta.

Belfast police Chaplain Lt. Kenneth Fitzjurls, who has served in the police department longer than anyone else, has retired after 31 years due to health issues. A Navy veteran, Fitzjurls was promoted to chaplain in 2004 after completing training at the Maine police academy.

Lisa Goodwin has been promoted from Lincoln town clerk to manager to replace now-Auburn City Manager Glenn Aho. Goodwin was among 30 candidates for the job and will continue her clerk work until May to give councilors time to find her replacement. Goodwin has been acting town manager for six months.

Wales special town meeting voters in late December elected Gregory Johnson to fill out more than two years of the term of Selectman Randall Greenwood, who resigned after winning election to the Androscoggin County Commission. Johnson resigned his school board seat to take the Greenwood’s seat.

Rosemary Kulow has been named Rockland city manager, effective in late January. Most recently, Kulow has worked as a planner for the Greater Portland Council of Governments and as New Gloucester town manager. A Wisconsin native, Kulow also has managed the communities of Gardiner, Eastport and Sebago in Maine, as well as starting her municipal career 20 years ago in Virginia.

Interim Rangeley Police Chief Dennis Leahy was named permanent chief by selectmen in December. Leahy, who retired to Rangeley after a career with the Philadelphia Police Department, has worked part-time for the town since late 2006.

Ellen Planer has been named permanent clerk for the town of Falmouth after working on an interim basis since former Town Clerk Kathleen Babeu resigned last fall. Planer was hired as deputy tax collector in 2005 and was moved up to executive assistant after one year. Meanwhile, Carol Kloth has been named deputy clerk, effective January 12. Kloth has worked for the town for 20 years, most recently as a communications supervisor for the Falmouth Police Department.

Wilton Town Manager Peter Nielsen has been hired as the top administrator for the town of Oakland, effective in late December. Nielsen, who lives in Winthrop, served as Wilton manager for seven years. He also has managed Clinton and Wayne and also served as a town councilor in Winthrop before moving from making policy to implementing it

Gerald “Gerry” Robertson, who served as a Brewer city councilor for more than four decades, died December 29 at his home at the age of 90. Robertson was first elected at the age of 23 in 1941 and served for the next 46 years. A former state legislator, Robertson served 19 years as mayor and continued his volunteer work until his death, serving most recently on the planning board. The Brewer City Council had created a scholarship in Robertson’s name just weeks before his death.

John Schempf has been hired as the new manager of South Berwick, effective in mid-February. Schempf has two decades of experience as a top administrator and presently works as manager of a community services district in Los Osos, California. Schempf was chosen by a committee of town councilors and residents. His experience also includes 10 years as a senior officer for the U.S. Coast Guard.