ELLSWORTH — The search for a new city manager has been extended after several candidates city councilors hoped to interview accepted jobs elsewhere.
Two dozen applications were received by the original deadline of March 27. The deadline has now been extended to Wednesday, April 29.
City Council Chairman Bob Crosthwaite said Eaton Peabody Consulting Group, which has been hired by the city to help with the search process, reviewed the first batch of applications and recommended councilors look at about 10 of them.
Councilors held a special meeting April 3 to review those applications. Crosthwaite said councilors identified three applicants they wanted to interview and asked Eaton Peabody to contact them.
When Eaton Peabody did that, Crosthwaite said, the city learned “two of the three had already accepted jobs elsewhere.”
Rather than have the first round of interviews be just one interview, councilors discussed the situation and talked with the consultants and decided to extend the search.
“We didn’t feel we were ready to just jump,” Crosthwaite said.
He said councilors will hold another closed-door meeting after the April 29 deadline, like the one they held April 3, to look at applications and see if there are any new names that catch their interest.
Crosthwaite said he is hopeful the extension of the search process will see additional candidates come forward. He acknowledged it will delay the date when the city will hire a new manager, however.
“It’s going to take us a little longer than it would have originally,” he said.
The need to find a new manager came about after Michelle Beal submitted her resignation earlier this year.
She left to take a job as chief operating officer at the Bangor law firm of Rudman Winchell. Her last day with the city was March 20.
David Cole, a Brewer resident and former Maine Department of Transportation commissioner, has been serving as interim city manager since that time.