Derry council opts to reopen town administrator search
DERRY — The search for the next town administrator will reopen as councilors agreed in a special Monday night meeting to pass over two finalists that had been considered for the position.
After months of searching, the council had narrowed the field down from 76 candidates to finalists Richard Brown, of Massachusetts and Stephen Eldridge, of Maine. They further narrowed the list to just one finalist, whose name will not be revealed, Council Chairman Mark Osborne said in the meeting.
“This council unanimously decided that we owed it to Derry to reopen the search for a new town administrator,” Osborne said, adding that people often “get the government they deserve.”
Osborne didn’t specify what factors led to the decision to not select either town administrator finalist. Each candidate had a lot of municipal government experience and had dealt with similar situations.
“If you look at both résumés, they were incredibly qualified,” Osborne said.
In moving forward with the search, councilors agreed 6-0 to appropriate $2,000 to fund the next search that will begin within days.
While councilors aren’t ruling anything out, they intend to start the new search with a clean slate, Osborne said.
The council also agreed to add a requirement of executive management experience, with a preference for governmental experience, to the new ad they plan to post.
According to a draft outline presented by Councilor David Fischer, an ad will be posted online at various sites seeking qualified candidates. The search process will also include a review by councilors and stakeholder forums. Candidates can apply for the job until Aug. 15.
Once again, the public and town employees will have the chance to meet the finalists and ask them questions.
If the new search succeeds in finding a new town administrator, they would then be named at the Tuesday, Sept. 16 Town Council meeting, according to the draft.