Cape Elizabeth picks Lane as interim town manager

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Assistant Town Manager and Town Clerk Debra Lane will be the interim town manager for three months after Mike McGovern’s retirement at the end of December.

Lane, who has worked for the town for 30 years, was appointed to the interim position Monday, Nov. 14, by the Town Council. She will hold the position from Jan. 1 to March 13, 2017.

Lane will receive an additional $276 per week in compensation, on top of her $92,270 annual salary, for the added duties.

McGovern announced Aug. 22 that he will retire Dec. 31 after 31 years as town manager. Last month, he agreed to act as a consultant to the town for six months after his resignation takes effect.

“I’ll be available to them however they need me,” McGovern said.

A public reception to celebrate McGovern’s time in Cape Elizabeth will be held Dec. 6 from 5-7 p.m. at the Purpoodock Club on Spurwink Avenue.

According to McGovern, Lane will assume all of the town manager’s responsibilities while in the interim position. She will oversee all departments, recommend policies to the Town Council, and begin working on the annual budget.

The council hopes to hire a permanent replacement by Jan. 17, but expects the next manager won’t be able to start until at least March. March 13 is the date of the first scheduled Town Council meeting after a new manager is expected to be hired.

The council has hired Augusta-based consulting group Eaton Peabody to facilitate the search for a new manager. The deadline for candidates to apply for the position is Nov. 18. Councilors plan to meet Nov. 29 to discuss the applicants.

The first round of interviews, which may include six or more candidates, are expected to take place Dec. 12-15. The second round of interviews with two finalists will be held Jan. 3-5. In addition to interviews, the finalists will meet with department heads and residents.

Lane, who was out of the office this week and not available to comment, was Cape Elizabeth’s town clerk and administrative assistant from 1986 to 2003. She was then promoted to assistant town manager and, in 2008, resumed the duties of town clerk as well. 

In 2001, Lane, who is a graduate of Cape Elizabeth High School, was named Clerk of the Year by the Maine Town and City Clerks Association. 

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Debra Lane, left, town clerk and assistant town manager, will become Cape Elizabeth’s interim town manager. In August she was recognized by Town Council Chairwoman Molly MacAuslan and retiring Town Manager Mike McGovern for 30 years of service.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.