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July 02. 2013 10:04PM

Search for Hersh’s replacement in Nashua taking shape

NASHUA — About six applications have already been received for the vacant community development director position, which the mayor hopes to have filled by the end of the summer.

“I think it is a critical role in Nashua, as planning and community development is the underlying foundation for this city,” Mayor Donnalee Lozeau said on Tuesday. “We need a manager to be able to work together with others to help establish future planning and policy decisions.”

Katherine Hersh, the city’s former community development director, retired on Friday. Advertising began at the end of June to fill her role, with posts in a variety of different media outlets, including professional planning publications, according to Lozeau.

A few applicants have already applied for the position.

“We always accept applicants outside of the area,” she said.

There will be at least two interview teams established to help find the most qualified candidate for the role, said the mayor. Hersh has agreed to serve on the first interview team to help review the initial resumes and determine which applicants are qualified and should be considered, said Lozeau.

A second interview team will conduct interviews of the candidates recommended from the first team, Lozeau said. Once two or three finalists are declared, Lozeau said she will likely recommend that a few citizens provide their insight into the interview process.

“I might bring in some participants to talk with the candidates and get their thoughts. Sometimes I like to do something like that to get the community involved,” said Lozeau. “We would like to get this filled sooner rather than later.”

Lozeau said each of the managers from the planning and building departments are taking responsibility for their designated areas and meeting weekly to ensure that all of Hersh’s previous duties are being taken care of until a replacement is found.

“This is a tough time to be searching for applicants. I am sure it will be a challenge,” Lozeau said, adding she will not settle for less than the ideal candidate.

The community development director is in charge of planning, directing and supervising the activities and operations of the planning, building and code enforcement functions of the city, while also providing policy and operational advice, direction and leadership on community development matters, according to the job posting on the city’s website.

“Excellent public speaking skills, experience in community development, planning, building, federal grant programs, public transportation and environmental protection are required of the successful candidates,” says the posting. “A combination of experience and education will be considered, or a degree in a related field is a plus.”

In addition to the community development director position, the city is also searching for a new superintendent for the Streets Department. The former superintendent, Roy Sorenson, has accepted a job in another state.

The duties for that role include providing leadership, knowledge and managerial abilities and skills necessary for the maintenance, repair, upgrade and construction of more than 300 miles of streets and about the same amount of sewer and drain lines. Fleet maintenance is also a primary duty, as well as serving on the mayor’s emergency management team.

“I know that we have not had a lot of applications for that position, but we have had some candidates. I am not sure if they are internal or external applicants,” said Lozeau.For more information on either available position, visit www.nashuanh.gov.khoughton@newstote.com

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