NEW GLOUCESTER — The Board of Selectmen welcomed Brenda Fox Howard as the new town manager Monday.

Fox Howard

Fox Howard replaces interim Town Manager Paul First, whose last day was May 15. First was hired in December 2019 to take over for Carrie Castonguay, who unexpectedly resigned at the beginning of November after 2½ years on the job.

Fox Howard’s starting salary is $78,000 and she said her “initial contract” is for one year.

Fox Howard said she previously was director of finance in several towns, including Peterborough, New Hampshire, Putnam, Connecticut, and Winchester, Connecticut. In an interview with the Lakes Region Weekly Tuesday, she said worked as a materials analyst at several companies in Connecticut: General Dynamics Electric Boat Division in Groton, Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Waterford and Dow Chemical in Gales Ferry, where she was also a rail fleet manager.

Fox Howard, who moved to New Gloucester area about a year ago by way of New Hampshire, said she is joining the town administration during “very unique times.” But, she said, “whatever the folks here want to see happening, I’m hoping I’ll be able to get them there.”

“There are really some great people here, and they definitely take a lot of pride in their town and I can see why. It’s a beautiful area. The people have been very welcoming, very friendly. I see good things ahead for the town,” she said.

Selectboard Chairman Linda Chase could not be reached for comment.

First had previously worked for the town of New Gloucester from 2009 to 2017, including three years as town manager.

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