DERRY — Town councilors are taking steps to move the search for the next town administrator forward and plan to appoint someone for the position as early as July 1.
The council voted unanimously during its Tuesday night meeting to adopt a draft of a timeline that details the steps the council will take to fill the vacant position. The timeline was created by Councilor David Fischer, who was praised by the council for his efforts.
“It’s quite thorough,” said Councilor Joshua Bourdon. “It looks extremely aggressive, but I like that.”
And to help move the process along, the council named Fischer as facilitator.
Fischer said the timeline is only a draft and “nothing is set in stone.” Each of the seven councilors will be involved in making the selection, and Fischer will only help guide the process along, he said.
Fischer, who has an extensive background in education, said he has experience hiring top-level administrators. In creating the timeline, he outlined key dates in a methodical, step-by-step process for reviewing and rating the candidates and ultimately narrowing the list to one.
Former Town Administrator John Anderson, 50, was charged with lewdness and indecent exposure in August following an incident that allegedly occurred at his house on July 11 involving a DirecTV salesman. In October, he was discharged by the town without cause.
In March, councilors created an ad seeking “a creative, proactive leader” for the vacant post. They placed the ad on the New Hampshire Municipal Association’s website and others. Candidates will have until June 1 to apply for the job.
So far, the town has received 41 applications, according to officials.
Councilors will review and rate each applicant, Fischer said.
The process will continue into June, with councilors narrowing the list to a set of semifinalists and then finalists.
“So that means certainly in the month of June we would be very, very busy as a town council,” Fischer said.
With summer vacation not too far off, Fischer said he wanted to put the work in now for hiring the next town administrator.
“I want to admit up front that I believe there are some selfish motives here and … when the summer comes upon us, I don’t think we should be buried in this search,” Fischer said. “So I’m more than willing to dedicate the time up front and spend the time necessary in May and June to get this job done.”