Lisbon town manager Diane Barnes will take over as North Yarmouth’s town manager on Jan. 31. Rachel Vitello / The Forecaster

A Lisbon woman with decades of experience in local government has been hired as North Yarmouth’s new town manager.

Lisbon Town Manager Diane Barnes will start in the role on Jan. 31, and said as North Yarmouth town manager, she will focus on key issues facing the town, such as attracting new businesses, tax increment financing – which allows municipalities to invest in public infrastructure by setting aside the increase in property taxes from certain developments – and the June referendum on the new SAD 51 school building on Gray Road.

North Yarmouth Town Office, where Barnes will soon begin her job as the new town manager. Rachel Vitello / The Forecaster

Barnes introduced herself to the community at the Select Board’s Dec. 21 meeting by saying she plans to visit residents, local businesses and organizations to “get a pulse on the community” to learn what issues are important.

“I’ve been doing this for 35 years and I would really like to work for a community that has the town meeting form of government and a smaller community where everyone is really close-knit,” Barnes said. “I think North Yarmouth is going to be the perfect fit.”

Barnes will earn an annual salary of $100,000. She will come on board about five months after the resignation of Rosemary Roy, who, at the time she stepped down, was paid $78,785 a year. Barnes’ salary is based on the Maine Municipal Association’s survey of town manager salaries across the state, as well as her past experience and salary history, according to Select Board Chairperson Brian Sites.

Barnes has been the manager in Lisbon since June 2014. Prior, she served as Calais City Manager for over seven years.


Barnes was born and raised in Skowhegan, where she got her start in municipal government working as a collections clerk, which involves bookkeeping, collecting overdue funds and other clerical work. She worked her way up to finance director, a position she held for 21 years. Barnes made the move back to Southern Maine in 2014 to be closer to her brother and father, who live in Gorham, but she will be staying in Lisbon and commuting.

Barnes applied for the position in late September and had two rounds of interviews. Earlier this month, Sites told The Forecaster that the board was looking for “a seasoned professional ready to jump in on Day One, with deep experience in municipal finance, budgeting, infrastructure development and tax increment financing, as well as someone that understands the unique challenges that are associated with a growing rural community.”

North Yarmouth was left without a town manager when Roy resigned in July 2021 after being out on medical leave for an undisclosed reason since April, which came after she and her husband verbally lashed out at residents and threatened to sue the town at an April 12 Select Board meeting, according to earlier reporting by The Forecaster. She had been the town manager since 2014.

Since then, Cumberland Assistant Town Manager Chris Bolduc has been serving as interim town manager 15 hours per week for $55 an hour. Town Clerk Debbie Allen Grover has also been assisting with town manager duties as needed. Bolduc did not respond to requests for comment.

“(The Select Board) voted unanimously as a board to approve her contract and we are all excited to work with Diane to help launch a new chapter for the town,” Sites said.

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