Former Machias town manager hired in Denmark


New Denmark Town Manager Chris Loughlin

New Denmark Town Manager Chris Loughlin

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

Former Machias Town Manager Chris Loughlin has been hired as Denmark’s new Town Manager, replacing Dan Merhalski, who resigned July 31.

The hiring ends a half-year period that Denmark has been without a town manager, and comes more than a year after dissent arose over Merhalski’s leadership style and the board’s response to that dissent.

Loughlin was introduced at the board’s Dec. 9 meeting by Chairman Beverly Caparco. She welcomed him to town as the meeting began, but offered no additional comment.

Later in the meeting, selectmen signed Loughlin’s employment agreement. The one-year agreement provides for an annual salary of $57,000 with a six-month probationary period.

Merhalski’s starting salary was $56,000 when he was hired in September 2014.

Reached by phone on Wednesday, Loughlin said he looked forward to working in Denmark.

“It was an opportunity for me to get back in the mix, and it looked like it could be an interesting challenge,” he said.

Loughlin served twice as Machias Town Manager, with his first stint from 1989 to 1994, and then returning from 2010 to 2015. He has lived in Machias for around 25 years, and currently still resides there.

A May 27 article in the Bangor Daily News states that Loughlin resigned effective June 5 of this year. Machias Selectmen approved a severance package that included $30,000 to be paid in weekly installments, the article stated. Loughlin said in the article that he had been considering the move for more than a year.

Later in the Denmark Selectman meeting, the board was asked whether a meet-and-greet would be held to introduce Loughlin to residents. Loughlin said he was open to the idea, and Caparco said she would work to set up a date.

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