Rockport Select Board members unanimously approved Roger Moody as interim town manager Feb. 20.

Moody took up his duties immediately, participating in a capital improvement workshop less than one minute after the vote.

Moody also serves as a Knox County commissioner.

Select Board member Tracy Lee Murphy made the motion nominating Moody "per a verbal agreement and bond to be paid by the town." Select Board Chairman William Chapman explained a bond is required by the town charter and said, "We will allow our financial people to figure that out."

Rockport's charter states "Before entering these duties, the interim town manager shall give bond to the town in a sum and with surety or sureties to be approved by the select board. The premium on said bond shall be paid by the town."

Moody said prior to the vote he does not yet have set hours as town manager.

Robert Peabody Jr. submitted his resignation as town manager, effective Feb. 14. He was employed by the town for nearly eight years. His resignation came on the heels of a completed investigation of a town employee that began in early January after Chapman received a complaint. The nature of the complaint and name of the employee investigated have not been confirmed by town officials; however, numerous executive sessions — including one to discuss and approve a severance/release agreement signed by Peabody — have taken place in recent months.

A second complaint also was received, Chapman previously stated, but was not investigated in conjunction with the other.

Following the workshop, select board members discussed wording of the job description for a new town manager. Murphy said she and acting Town Manager Linda Greenlaw determined the description in place when Peabody was hired eight years ago needs an update.

Selectman Ken McKinley said he spoke with representatives of Maine Municipal Association regarding the search.

"They have a fee — $4,900 — for the whole process,"  he said, encouraging his fellow select board members to look at a salary survey and sample job description provided by MMA.

Chapman said discussion regarding who will be chosen as the new town manager will likely take place in executive session. He said he feels the search for a town manager should be concluded by the end of March and a decision made on a new hire in time for June town meeting.

"I think we want to try and compress this," Chapman said. "This is our baby, we've sort of created it."

He noted news of Peabody's resignation has spread beyond state borders in a short time, adding there were applicants for the soon-to-be vacant fire chief position from as far away as Alaska.

Camden Herald Associate Editor Stephanie Grinnell can be reached at 236-8511 or