Newly hired Saco City Administrator Kevin Sutherland switches the license plates on his Volkswagen Rabbit pickup in the parking lot behind City Hall Thursday.

Newly hired Saco City Administrator Kevin Sutherland switches the license plates on his Volkswagen Rabbit pickup in the parking lot behind City Hall Thursday.

SACO — New City Administrator Kevin Sutherland’s been on the job two weeks, and already he’s gotten his feet wet working with local storm issues.

Sutherland, 32, began the job Sept. 21, after serving for the past few years as Chief of Staff in Ithaca, New York. Sutherland has Federal Emergency Management Agency training and has dealt with emergencies and natural disasters in the past, but he said tidal issues are new to him.

Sutherland said he was “thoroughly impressed” in how city public safety and emergency management staff handled issues related to the storm and flash flooding this week, stating they were well-organized and communicated with each other well.

“Our department heads are top notch,” he said.

Sutherland is eager to set forth in his new position, and he’s also happy to be living in the east coast and closer to his wife, who works in Boston.

Sutherland said while living in Ithaca, he made the six-hour drive to Boston a few weekends a month, filling his Volkswagen Jetta with people he met on Zimride, an online carpooling site. Though the drive was long, he met some incredible people.

“I’m energized by meeting new people,” he said.

Sutherland appears friendly and outgoing, and in a letter to the community on the city’s web page he writes: “My door is always open and I hope in the coming months you’ll tell me your story.”

Sutherland said building relationships and trust is very important to him, and he takes his job serving the community very seriously.

“I feel like I owe it to the community to do the best job I can,” he said. “That’s not a nine to five job.”

Sutherland, who has seven years’ experience in government administration, says he brings strong information technology and personnel skills to the position.

He’s looking forward to working on a solution to remedy erosion in Camp Ellis related to the Saco River jetty. In Ithaca, he worked to get approval for a future canal dredging project, a project that had been talked about for decades.

Sutherland said another of his goals is fostering growth in the downtown.

Sutherland is living in a winter rental at Kinney Shores, and is enjoying being near the ocean and taking morning runs on the beach. He enjoys home renovation and working on his “project car,” a 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit pickup truck.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]


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