ELLSWORTH, Maine — Michael Crooker, the town manager for Winterport, has been selected to become the next top administrator for Hancock County.
Crooker is expected to be formally hired when county commissioners meet on Aug. 2. He will start in the position on Sept. 1. He fills a vacancy created when Scott Adkins left the county administrator post early last month. Cornell Knight, the former town manager in Bar Harbor, has held the post in an interim basis since then.
Crooker is expected to have a starting salary of $105,000, according to Hancock County officials. He has a Master’s degree in public administration and a Bachelors of Arts degree, both from the University of Maine.
Crooker has been town manager in Winterport since 2018. He said Tuesday that he’s interested in getting more experience and opportunity as a governmental administrator. Prior to Winterport, he served as town manager for Bradley and then Glenburn before working as assistant city manager and human resources director in Bangor. In between the Bradley and Glenburn jobs, he worked as executive director of the River Coalition in Old Town.
“In Maine, there are only 16 of those [county administrator] jobs, so it is a little more competitive,” Crooker said. “That was an appeal.”
A Newburgh native and resident, he plans to commute to Ellsworth for his new job. He said Hancock County has several “beautiful” communities, which also made the county post desirable to him.
“That made it an easier sell as well,” Crooker said.
Crooker said he plans to stay with Winterport through the end of August, to help give the town more time to find a replacement, before starting his new job on Thursday, Sept. 1.
“There won’t be much of a break in between,” he said.