Cape Elizabeth Town Manager Matthew Sturgis has been hired as Cumberland’s town manager. He will start June 3, working alongside Town Manager Bill Shane, who is retiring in July.

Sturgis, who has worked in Cape Elizabeth for 25 years, said he views the move to Cumberland as a natural next step in his career.


“It’s a great opportunity for continued professional development, and a big part of that is they’ve got some really exciting plans going forward,” he said. “(There are) a lot of similarities between the two towns, and it’s just an attractive place to go.”

He noted Cumberland’s work on its comprehensive plan, a process he went through with Cape Elizabeth, as well as “other economic development opportunities.” Both communities are also pursuing opportunities to create affordable housing.

Sturgis’ starting salary in Cumberland will be $165,000. He currently earns $161,000 a year in Cape Elizabeth.

Sturgis said he has worked with Shane in the past and following in his footsteps is a challenge he is eager to take on.


“To have the opportunity to come in after him is both daunting and exciting at the same time,” Sturgis said.

Shane announced his retirement in January after 21 years in the position and the search to replace him began in March.

“Matt brings a wealth of experience to this role, as well as a demonstrated commitment to collaboration and community engagement,” Cumberland Town Councilor Baily Douglass said. “We are confident that his expertise will be invaluable.”

Shane said Monday that Sturgis is a man of integrity who is well respected throughout the state.


“You couldn’t have picked a more outstanding candidate,” Shane told the council. “Matt brings so much to the table.”

Tim Reiniger, chair of the Cape Elizabeth Town Council, also praises Sturgis for his “high integrity” and said he is “very skilled at financial matters and in managing people and issues.”


“He’ll be sorely missed in Cape Elizabeth,” Reiniger said Tuesday. “We’re very thankful that he was able to devote over 20 years of service to Cape Elizabeth.”

The Cape council will hold a special meeting on Monday to organize the search for a new town manager.

Sturgis grew up in New Gloucester, where his family goes back five generations. He and his family now live in Gray, and one of the “side benefits” of his new job, he said, is that it is closer to home.

He has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

For 16 years, Sturgis served as tax assessor for the town of Cape Elizabeth before taking over as town manager in 2017.

“It was such a formative experience for me professionally, to grow from being a young assessor,” Sturgis said. “(Cape Elizabeth) provided me with opportunities for growth and professional development. The experiences with the residents of the town have been very enjoyable. It’s a great community to work with.”


His last day on the job in Cape Elizabeth will be May 8.

Cumberland councilors said Monday that Shane will be greatly missed.

“Bill has been an absolute cornerstone of our community,” Douglass said. “His dedication, commitment and unwavering leadership has helped shape Cumberland into the vibrant, thriving community it is today.”

This article was edited March 27 to correct Sturgis’ salary in Cape Elizabeth.

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