Police & Fire

Monson promotes 2-time interim town manager to permanent position

MONSON — A Piscataquis County town has promoted its interim manager, who has worked for the municipal office since 2018, to town manager.

Monson hired Alaina Zelkan as its town manager during a special meeting May 21, Sue Chase, Monson Select Board chairperson, said on June 5. Zelkan will earn $55,000 annually, Chase said. The town shared the news on its website and Facebook page June 4.

Zelkan has served as interim manager since March, when William MacDonald resigned after starting the job in January 2023. She also served as interim after Daniel Swain resigned in October 2021 after leading the town for nearly four years.

Zelkan has eight years of experience in Maine municipal government, which was the most of the seven people who applied for the position, Chase said. Her hiring, along with the appointment of a new fire chief last month, will bring long-term stability to the town, she said.

“Alaina brings enormous pride and professionalism to her work, which is reflected in both her municipal management, as well as in day-to-day interactions with community members,” Chase said. “We are confident that her knowledge and skills in a variety of municipal areas will provide stability to our town’s future. 

Zelkan, who lives in Sebec, has worked in various municipal roles in the past, including as an administrative assistant, town clerk and treasurer.

During the May 21 meeting, the board also appointed Phil Diolio as fire chief, Chase said. He has worked for the department in the past, including as chief.

The department of 12 firefighters covers Monson, Blanchard, Elliotsville, Willimantic, and Shirley.

The town’s former chief, Ryan Laplante, resigned in late April during an executive session of the board. He then spoke publicly with firefighters at the department and made inaccurate statements, which may have prompted other members to resign, according to a statement from the board.

Terry Gaudet served as interim chief.

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