Cumberland finance director takes county position

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CUMBERLAND — Alex Kimball will still be a Cumberland finance director when he starts his new job this month; he just won’t be “the” Cumberland finance director.

Kimball, 43, has been the town’s finance director since September 2006, after serving as the accounting assistant for the previous year and a half.

The North Yarmouth resident’s last day on the job was Friday, Jan. 4. Next Monday he starts work in Portland as Cumberland County’s director of finance, replacing Vic Labrecque.

The town is working with an accounting agency to fill Kimball’s position, Town Manager Bill Shane said last week. He said  he hopes a permanent replacement will be appointed by the Town Council late this month or early in February.

Kimball, a Northeast Harbor native who once was a buyer for Cadillac Mountain Sports, said his new job will be similar to his old one, with “differences in terms of services provided and the scope of the services.”

Kimball said the town “was in a good position to weather (the recent economy) to begin with. … Cumberland was a relatively stable community, with relatively stable property values and relatively stable employment, such that even when the recession hit, the town did not experience the kind of massive drops in property levels that would be seen in other sections of the country.”

Cumberland did have to make cutbacks, including closing the Town Office on Fridays, which helped keep the budget flat four years in a row, Kimball noted.

“The town of Cumberland got through this; I was just along for the ride,” he said. “The notion that one person could have an impact of that size is just not correct.”

Kimball said he has always been “a fan” of regional services, which attracted him to the county job.

“I’ve always believed that if there are ever opportunities to do things as efficiently as possible, the county would be in an excellent position to handle those things,” he said. “The regional dispatch that they currently run is a great example of the county managing a process very well and really to the benefit of all parties.”

Kimball “has done an outstanding job in developing  policies and procedures that have been implemented and will be used for many years to come,” Shane said in an e-mail last week, noting that he was “responsible for our entire financial software upgrade in 2006 and was awarded the Government Finance Officers Association Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting each year of the past 6 years.”

“Alex will be missed for his personal commitment to the Town and his passion for public service,” Shane added. “He was involved in many of our economic development and capital projects and served an important role on the management team in Cumberland.”

The town manager expressed confidence that Kimball would do “great things” at the county level.

“They are very fortunate to attract such an outstanding finance director,” Shane said. “I will miss his humor, his talent, his great attitude and his friendship.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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Alex Kimball, former finance director for the town of Cumberland, is taking on that role for Cumberland County.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.