North Andover manager chosen for city's top post

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PORTLAND — City officials announced Friday that a Massachusetts town manager will take the city’s top leadership position.

Mark Rees, 55, who has served as town manager in North Andover since 2000, will take over as the city manager for Portland.

“He brings a lot of enthusiasm as a public servant,” City Councilor Cheryl Leeman said Friday.

Rees will step into the role vacated by Joseph Gray, who retired earlier this year after 40 years working for the city. Interim Manager Pat Finnigan will continue to serve in the post until Rees can leave his current position.

“I was impressed when I met with city councilors and employees, with how well the city is run,” Rees said in an interview Friday. “Portland is a very cosmopolitan city with a lot of diversity. It’s definitely a full-service community and I’m looking forward to serving there.”

Rees said he has a contract with North Andover that requires he give 90-day notice to resign, however, he said he would be requesting a waiver of that requirement from the Town Council.

Before serving as town manager in North Andover, Rees was a the chief financial officer in Framingham, Mass. He said his background in finance has been helpful in managment role.

“What I can bring to the table is long-term financial planning and forecasting of financial trends,” Rees said.

Leeman said the committee reviewed applications from 65 candidates, interviewed three, and ultimately choose to offer the job to Rees, who accepted the position this week.

The city requires that the manager reside in Portland and Rees said he and his wife would be looking to buy a home in the city. They have two children, a son who is in law school, and a daughter at the University of Connecticut.

The City Council will review Rees’ contract and vote at its June 6 meeting. His salary is expected to be $143,000 and the contract will be for two or three years.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @emilyparkhurst.

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