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County commissioners hire Eagle Lake town manager for newly created position

CARIBOU, Maine — County Commissioners voted on June 5 to appoint Sandra Fournier as deputy county administrator of finance, a new position created after discussions from a special advisory committee formed last fall.

County officials selected Fournier, the current Eagle Lake town manager, out of 16 applicants, according to County Administrator Ryan Pelletier. He said the hiring process took two months and involved a round of phone interviews, a meeting with county personnel, and a “final interview with county leadership including appointed and elected department heads.”

“Sandra really stood out to us throughout the process,” Pelletiers said in a press release. “She comes to the County with a solid background in government finance and management and she possesses the skill set that we were looking for.”

Fournier holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration as well as an associate degree in business. Her last day as town manager is June 29 and she will officially begin the new county position on Monday, July 2.

Despite leaving, Fournier said Thursday the she will continue to help the town of Eagle Lake with its tax commitment process through July.

“Ryan has graciously agreed to work that around my schedule,” she said, adding that she will be available for one day each week in July. She said the selectmen soon will begin interviewing candidates for an interim manager and are hoping to have made a decision by August.

Commissioner Paul Underwood voted against hiring Fournier and clarified during the meeting that he was not voting against the candidate, but the position itself, according to Pelletier. The other two commissioners voted in favor.

The special advisory committee also was tasked with analyzing the structure and staff of Aroostook County’s administration office. Pelletier said in the release that the new position will allow the “County government to be as efficient and responsive as possible.

“We are well into the 21st century now,” Pelletier said, adding that the restructuring will result in both an “annual savings within the County budget” and a “more professional management of county funds.”

In addition to creating a new position, “an existing position was eliminated” within county government and the committee moved to change the County treasurer position to one that is determined by appointment instead of election. This change, according to Pelletier, will require voter approval, and the County administrator hopes to have a referendum vote ready in time for the November general election.

Fournier, who has served Eagle Lake since October of 2014, said she “looks forward to joining the team at the County.”

“I think it’s going to be a great experience,” she said. “I’m excited about the new position and I can’t wait to start.”

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