South Portland adds new assistant manager, city clerk

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SOUTH PORTLAND — The city has a new assistant city manager and will soon have a new city clerk. 

Josh Reny, 34, the assistant city manager and economic development director, joined the city at the end of September.

Mayor Linda Cohen announced Tuesday that Emily Carrington, 29, has been hired as the new city clerk.

“The City Council feels Emily is the perfect choice to lead the city clerk’s office,” said Cohen in the release. 

Nearly 40 people applied for the position. Interviews were conducted by a City Council committee that included Cohen and Councilors Maxine Beecher and Tom Blake. 

Carrington is slated to replace longtime clerk Sue Mooney on Oct. 28. Mooney announced her retirement earlier this summer, after spending 14 years as clerk and nearly 40 years working for the city.

Carrington’s starting salary will be $65,000, according to City Manager Jim Gailey. Mooney currently earns about $89,500.

Carrington, of Portland, works for Kaplan University in South Portland as the campus operations administrator and assistant to the president of the university. Prior to that, she was the academic coordinator and assistant to the campus academic dean, according to a city press release. 

She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of New England and a master’s degree in management and human resources from Kaplan University. 

Carrington will be officially appointed by the City Council at the 6 p.m. meeting on Monday, Oct. 26, at the South Portland Community Center. 

“I am so thrilled for this opportunity to serve the people of South Portland,” Carrington said. “There is a lot of work to do and big shoes to fill. I’m eager to get started.”

Josh Reny was hired in late August with a starting salary of $80,000. Reny replaced Jon Jennings, who is now city manager in Portland. 

Reny, a native of Fairfield and now a resident of Scarborough, previously served as the economic development director for his hometown before becoming town manager in 2010. He formerly served in the Maine and Vermont Air National Guards.

Reny said Wednesday morning that he is enjoying the job and “getting a feel for the community” while trying to meet as many people as he can.

Much of his work as assistant city manager will be acting as a liaison with residents, prospective developers and business owners, and assisting City Manager Jim Gailey.

Reny’s tasks also include leading the Economic Development Committee, the members of which unveiled preliminary findings on Monday about the shifting economic environment in the city. Those findings, once finalized, will likely lead the city to adopt a new economic development plan before the end of the year.

With this in mind, Reny said he is honing in on three areas of economic growth: investing in quality of place, developing a local workforce and entrepreneurial base, and figuring out how to best use underutilized property in the city. 

The goal is to make South Portland “a destination where people want to not only visit, but live,” he said. Part of that includes building up the city’s aesthetic qualities.

“We want to make it a place a place where you want to start a business, you want to live, you want to stay,” Reny said. 

Having a “robust economic development program is important for that,” he said.  

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA



South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.