North Yarmouth selectmen tap Diffin as interim manager

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NORTH YARMOUTH — The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday night chose Marnie Diffin, the town’s administrative assistant, as interim town manager for fiscal 2014.

The vote was 4-1, with Paul Napolitano opposed. Neither he nor Diffin could be reached for comment by Wednesday morning.

Diffin has worked for North Yarmouth for four years. Her appointment as interim manager is pending negotiation of a new contract, board Chairman Steve Palmer said Wednesday.

“I’m very confident with what Marnie has done in the past; there’s no reason to think she can’t carry it forward,” Palmer said. “… She just knows the system.”

He said Diffin has been “extraordinary” in dealing with town finances and the budget process.

The town could advertise for a permanent manager next spring, Palmer said. Diffin could apply for that job, or be reappointed by the Board of Selectmen.

Voters adopted a revised Town Charter June 11 that requires the administrative assistant to be replaced by a town manager.

The Charter Commission found that the Board of Selectmen’s burden has increased, while the duties of the administrative assistant have also expanded, to include those usually performed by a town manager.

The manager will be the town’s chief executive and administrative officer, and the day-to-day governmental responsibilities will shift to that office, which will enable selectmen to focus on larger policy matters, according to the commission.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow hm on Twitter: @learics.

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.