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DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Piscataquis County Commissioners appointed Michael L. Williams of Greenbush to the position of county manager Tuesday. Williams will receive an annual salary of $52,000 and start work Monday, July 8, succeeding Tom Lizotte, who is retiring.

“We had 10 initial applicants. Two dropped out during the process,” James White, commissioners chairman, said during the board’s meeting in chambers. “After interviewing the remaining candidates, we narrowed it down to three, and we ultimately went with Michael Williams of Greenbush.

“We look forward to a long working relationship with you,” White said to Williams.

“I look forward to working with everybody,” Williams told the commissioners and county department heads in attendance.

Williams was scheduled to spend Wednesday with Lizotte, who announced his retirement in April after five years as county manager.

“I’m going to be available by phone and email. There are things you won’t be able to learn until they happen,” Lizotte said to Williams during Tuesday’s meeting. He also said he would be working with Williams later in the year to develop the Unorganized Territory budget.

In a follow-up email Lizotte said Williams must complete a 6-month probationary period before any contract can be considered.

“His employment with Piscataquis County is currently ‘at will,’ meaning that either party may terminate employment at any time before the expiration of the probationary period,” Lizotte wrote. “For what it is worth, I have not worked under a contract, nor did I ever request one, in my five years as county manager.”

A native of Guilford and graduate of Piscataquis Community High School, Williams served in the U.S. Army from 1981 to 1988, leading a squad in nuclear weapons readiness overseas and later training new soldiers as a drill sergeant.

Following his military service, Williams was a papermaker from 1989 to 2014. He first worked at the Georgia Pacific/James River mill in Old Town for 17 years and later at Verso Paper in Bucksport. Following the closure of the Verso mill, Williams returned to school and finished his associate’s degree in pulp and paper technology from Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. He earned a bachelor’s degree in applied science with a minor in accounting and a certificate in human resources management from the University of Maine at Augusta, graduating magna cum laude.

Since receiving his bachelor’s in 2017, Williams has been employed as a data research specialist in the healthcare sector.

Williams has been active in the Greenbush community, serving as a member and chair of the Penobscot County town’s school board since 1997 as well as the Region 2 director for the Maine School Board Association. He also volunteers on the Greenbush Broadband Committee and Greenbush Food Pantry.