Town Manager Role

At a special Town Meeting held August 23, 1962, Tremont voters adopted the “Town Manager Plan” of government, effective March of the following year. Based on a corporate business model, our elected Selectboard acts as the “Board of Directors”, and the Town Manager executes most executive and administrative powers and duties, acting much like the “Chief Executive Officer” of a business. The Manager Plan has been used successfully for over a century across the country, being first used officially in Staunton, Virginia in 2008. The Plan was developed by the municipal reformers of the late 19th and early 20th century who wanted to rid municipalities of the pervasive “political machine” form of government and the abuses of the spoils system. The thought was to have a politically impartial administrator or manager to carry out the administrative functions of the Town. The Manager Plan is especially popular in Maine, where it was officially created by State Law, 30-A MRSA 2607 - 2638, and defines the Town Manager’s powers and duties as:

1. Executive and administrative officer.  Is the chief executive and administrative official of the town;

2. Administer offices.  Is responsible to the selectmen for the administration of all departments and offices over which the selectmen have control;

3. Execute laws and ordinances.  Shall execute all laws and ordinances of the town;

4. Department head.  Shall serve in any office as the head of any department under the control of the selectmen when directed by the selectmen;

5. Appoint department heads.  Shall appoint, subject to confirmation by the selectmen, supervise and control the heads of departments under the control of the selectmen when the department is not headed by the town manager under subsection 4;

6. Appoint town officials.  Unless otherwise provided by town ordinance, shall appoint, supervise and control all town officials whom the municipal officers are required by law to appoint, except members of boards, commissions, committees and single assessors; and appoint, supervise and control all other officials, subordinates and assistants, except that the town manager may delegate this authority to a department head and report all appointments to the board of selectmen;

7. Purchasing agent.  Shall act as purchasing agent for all departments, except the school department, provided that the town or the selectmen may require that all purchases greater than a designated amount must be submitted to sealed bid;

8. Attend meetings of selectmen.  Shall attend all meetings of the board of selectmen, and the town manager may attend meetings when the manager's removal is being considered;

9. Make recommendations.  Shall make recommendations to the board of selectmen for the more efficient operation of the town.

10. Attend town meetings.  Shall attend all town meetings and hearings;

11. Inform of financial condition.  Shall keep the board of selectmen and the residents of the town informed as to the town's financial condition;

12. Collect data.  Shall collect data necessary to prepare the budget;

13. Assist residents.  Shall assist, insofar as possible, residents and taxpayers in discovering their lawful remedies in cases involving complaints of unfair vendor, administrative and governmental practices; and

14. Remove appointments.  Has exclusive authority to remove for cause, after notice and hearing, all persons whom the manager is authorized to appoint and report all removals to the board of selectmen.