South Portland City Hall

South Portland City Hall Kelley Bouchard photo/Press Herald

SOUTH PORTLAND — The city of South Portland has promoted Melissa Hutchins to serve as its next public works director.  

Hutchins replaces Doug Howard, who resigned earlier this month. He worked with the city for 29 years and the last 10 years as director.  

“I decided to apply for the director of public works position because I love working for the city of South Portland,” said Hutchins. “We have great residents, a smart and hardworking public works crew and my coworkers throughout the city are fantastic.”

Hutchins was chosen from 15 applicants. She has served as the public works superintendent and has been the department’s second in command since October 2018. Her promotion took effect on June 17. Her annual salary will be $90,668. 

“South Portland is incredibly fortunate to have someone of Melissa’s caliber ready and able to step up and lead this department,” said City Manager Scott Morelli. “Melissa works hard, has a passion for public service, and gets things done and done right. She is an ideal candidate, and I am excited for her to join our management team.”  

Hutchins has worked with South Portland’s public works since 2018 and was previously an administrative operations manager for the Old Orchard Beach public works department, where she worked for four years.  


“I’m honored to be the next director of public works,” said Hutchins in an earlier statement. “I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the residents of South Portland. I love the city of South Portland and look forward to this position’s challenges.”  

She has a master’s degree in policy, planning, and management from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. Hutchins earned a bachelor of arts in public administration from the University of Maine at Augusta. She has been certified by the Maine Department of Transportation for local project administration.  

Her other certifications include being a storm water inspector, local plumbing inspector, and code enforcement officer. Hutchins has completed the Maine National Education for Women in a Leadership program at the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and the Leadership Intensive Program from the Maine Development Foundation’s Institute for Civic Leadership.  

She is a member of the American Public Works Association and is an associate member of the Maine Town, City, and County Management Association.  

“I thought the new position would be challenging and a wonderful opportunity for me to grow professionally as well as help the department and the entire city continue to advance and be one of the most progressive municipalities in Maine,” said Hutchins.

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