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Derry council outlines process in second search for administrator

DERRY — While they aren’t overjoyed at having to conduct another search for a town administrator, councilors have a better idea of the qualifications they are seeking in a candidate.

The councilors met in a special meeting Monday night to announce they were passing over the two remaining finalists and reopening the search.

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.

Councilors are seeking to fill the job that was last held by former Town Administrator John Anderson, who’d been discharged in October by the town without cause. He had been charged with lewdness and indecent exposure in August following an incident that allegedly occurred at his house on July 11 involving a DirectTV salesman.

During the Monday night meeting, the council discussed how to craft a new ad that will be more effective in attracting qualified candidates for the position. The council plans to begin the search process within days and, if everything goes as planned, name the new administrator as early as Sept. 16.

Councilor David Fischer, who crafted the first draft of a timetable for hiring the next administrator, presented a new draft of the next timetable and discussed how the process could proceed.

“I’m just anxious to get started because I know this is really important,” Fischer said of this latest search for an administrator that is about to begin.

Fischer said the salary range for the job will range from $100,000 to $125,000, with a generous benefits package.

He suggested that candidates have municipal government experience as well as management experience.

“I think that’s very important so that would weed out people who are applying just to get a job,” Fischer said, adding that while a number of candidates applied in the last search, a good percentage of them didn’t have municipal and management experience.

It was also suggested that prior applicants need not apply and that residency is preferred but not required, Fischer said.Councilors also agreed that it is critically important that they find a candidate who is as committed to Derry as they are and is the right fit for the job, Council Chairman Mark Osborne said.

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