February 21, 2013

S. Portland hires former Red Claws exec

Jon Jennings will work to attract businesses and jobs for the city, but says he will retain his ties to The Forefront at Thompson's Point, which also is trying to land businesses as tenants.

By Randy Billings rbillings@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Jon Jennings, former president and general manager of the Maine Red Claws, has been hired as assistant city manager for South Portland.

2010 Press Herald file photo

South Portland and Portland are among six communities that have agreed to not "poach" businesses from each other by luring them to move with tax breaks or other incentives. The six communities, which created the Greater Portland Economic Development Corp., are setting protocols to give each community a fair shot at landing businesses that decide to move to or expand in the region.

South Portland Mayor Tom Blake said 80 percent of Jennings' time as assistant city manager will be spent on economic development.

Even so, he said he is not concerned about any potential conflict of interest, which he assumes was covered in Gailey's negotiations.

"There's no question in my mind they covered that," Blake said.

He said he is excited to have Jennings working for the city.

"I wanted the best person possible," Blake said. "I wanted a really gregarious person. I wanted somebody that people liked to deal with. This guy fits that bill."

Jennings' annual salary in South Portland will be $86,000.

He has a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University and a background in public service that includes jobs in the U.S. Department of Justice, according to the city's news release.

Jennings was president and general manager of the Red Claws until June. Since then, he has been concentrating on The Forefront at Thompson's Point.

Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

rbillings@pressherald.com

Twitter: @randybillings

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