CASCO — Selectboard member Mary Fernandes says Town Manager Courtney O’Donnell will be difficult to replace.

“Courtney was the cream of the crop, she came in, she managed by policy, she was professional. There’s all kinds of great things I could say about her,” Fernandes said Tuesday.

Courtney O’Donnell began her position as Casco town manager July 8, 2019. Her last day will be Sept. 11. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly file photo

O’Donnell has resigned, effective Sept. 11, after a year on the job. She told the Lakes Region Weekly that it wasn’t a “good fit” and that her upcoming departure “has nothing to do with my performance.”

After a six-month probationary period that began last June, the Selectboard voted to bring her on full time; her contract did not include a time limit.

Among her accomplishments as town manager, O’Donnell lists updating several policies and ordinances, such as the “long overdue zoning ordinance amendments,” as well as overhauling internal accounts and policies for “increased transparency and accountability.”

O’Donnell said she also worked with the state to turn the intersection at Pike’s Corner, which was considered a “super critical” high-crash location by the Maine Department of Transportation, into a four-way stop.

“I’m proud of the work that I’ve done in the year that I’ve been here … I definitely feel like (I’m) leaving Casco in a better position,” O’Donnell said.

Fernandes said that O’Donnell was in a tough position following Dave Morton’s 41-year tenure as Casco manager and then had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I thought she was a perfect fit, but even with a positive change, when you get used to doing things a certain way, it’s hard for people to adjust,” Fernandes said.

Selectboard Chair Thomas Peaslee said earlier this month that O’Donnell has “done a lot of good for the town and sometimes things just don’t match up.”

Before taking the job, O’Donnell was the town manager for 2 1/2 years in Stockton Springs, where Town Clerk Chrissy Hassatelis said she “did a lot for the town and for the employees.”

“We miss her really (badly),” Hassatelis said last week when reached for comment.

The town has hired municipal consultant Don Gerrish of the Augusta law firm Eaton Peabody to assist in a search for a new manager. Residents were invited to give their thoughts on what they would like to see in the next town manager at a public hearing on Thursday, July 30.

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