The Oceania Cruises ship Riviera sits tied up to Eastport's downtown breakwater pier in this July 2020 file photo. Eastport on Wednesday hired Army veteran Kate Devonshire to become its sixth city manager since 2010. Credit: BDN file

Eastport has hired an Army veteran with an MBA to be its new city manager.

The city council voted Wednesday to hire Kate Devonshire for the job, according to William Boone, president of the council. She is expected to start on Friday, April 30, he said.

Jim Porter, a former city manager in Calais who has been filling the post on an interim basis, is expected to continue in that capacity for a couple more weeks to help with the transition, Boone said.

Devonshire will work for an initial 12-month probationary period and will get job performance reviews from the council after three months and again after six months, according to Boone. Her annual salary is $56,000.

Devonshire is a recent transplant to Eastport, similar to her predecessor, Thomas Hoskins II, who was fired in January after one year in the job. And, like Hoskins, Devonshire is taking the position without having previously worked in municipal government. She will be the sixth person to be city manager in Eastport since 2010.

But Boone said her experience in the Army and working for Poland Spring and Verizon should help her learn the ropes of her new job fairly quickly. She is a Brockton, Massachusetts, native who graduated from West Point and later earned a master’s degree in business administration from Thomas College in Waterville.

While serving in the military, Devonshire helped administer the Army’s $2 billion Patriot missile budget, Boone said. Later, she supervised maintenance mechanics for bottled water firm Poland Spring and then as a customer sales representative for Verizon. She was laid off from Verizon last spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and since then has been living in Eastport working on her parents’ retirement home, he said.

“She seems eager and enthusiastic,” Boone said. “It’s not going to be a big learning curve for her.”

Devonshire’s hire marks the second high-profile position in Maine’s smallest city to be filled this month. On April 8, Andrew Little became Eastport’s new police chief and the 10th person to hold that position in the past decade, according to the Quoddy Tides newspaper. Little worked for the Philadelphia Police Department for approximately 20 years and, like Devonshire and Hoskins, moved to Eastport months before getting a job with the city.

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....