BRUNSWICK —Brunswick has hired a new economic development director who currently works on neighborhood development in Baltimore. 

Sally Costello will replace Linda Smith, who retired in January after four years in the position. Costello will start Aug. 1 with a salary of $81,000.

Town Manager John Eldridge announced the hire last week after an “extensive recruitment effort.” 

She is currently director of the Neighborhood Development and Economic Development Office at the Baltimore Development Corporation and previously served as the director of business development for the Savannah Development Corporation.

“I’m very committed to public service and making places better, and a big part of that is growing an economy,” Costello said.

While she would “not presume to come in with all the solutions,” she is excited for the town’s potential for economic growth and looks forward to working with assets like Bowdoin College and Brunswick Landing in their development efforts. She also has experience helping downtowns flourish and is excited to connect with Brunswick’s Maine Street community.

“I thought it was going to be very different (from Baltimore),” she said, but after visiting and learning more about the town, “I realized that there are very much the same challenges on a different scale,” such as redeveloping former industrial sites.

Costello’s experience in both public and private sectors made her an especially compelling candidate, Eldridge said Friday, as well as a “solid and comprehensive understanding of the concepts” they were talking about.

“(Costello) is a focused, passionate and experienced redevelopment expert committed to achieving broad social, environmental and economic benefits,” Eldridge said in a release.

“She made a connection with people in the interview process that you rarely see in an interview,” Eldridge added. “Her demeanor really impressed the people who interviewed her.”

Nearly two dozen people applied for the position and 10 were interviewed, he said. While the position has been open for more than five months, Eldridge said they felt that with her credentials and experience, Costello was “worth the wait until August.”

Costello said she and her family are trying to sell their home in Maryland and begin the relocation process. Her husband’s family is from Maine, she said, and they were planning to move soon. The job opening, she said, was “somewhat serendipitous.”

“I’m looking forward to diving in,” she said.

[email protected] 

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: