Warren selectmen hire Maine Municipal Association to aid in town manager search
Warren — Warren selectmen voted to hire Maine Municipal Association to help facilitate the search for a new permanent town manager in a regularly scheduled meeting Oct. 17.
Current Warren Town Manager Grant Watmough's resignation will take effect Nov. 26.
The Board of Selectmen hosted brief presentations by both MMA and Municipal Resources Inc., a New Hampshire-based consulting firm, in order to make their decision.
MMA Director of Personnel David Barrett outlined a course of action that would guide the town through a needs assessment and subsequent application and interview process.
According to Barrett, MMA will be responsible for weeding out unsatisfactory applicants and providing the board with a list of top-tier candidates for one-on-one meetings. MMA will also be responsible for undertaking criminal and educational background checks.
Following a three to four week application period, resume review should begin in mid-November, with the potential for an offer to a viable candidate in mid-December. However, Barrett cautioned that extenuating factors such as candidates' schedules and the impending holiday season may lead to an overall time frame of several months.
The applicants' names will be kept confidential throughout the hiring process.
Barrett told the selectmen that in addition to MMA's $4,900 fee, the town will need to budget between $1,200 to $3,000 in advertising costs.
Camden resident and former Raymond, N.H. town manager Rick Bates, senior consultant at Municipal Resources, laid out a detailed plan that would involve multiple interviews and screening tests, but would allow the select board little direct input until the final three candidates had been chosen.
Municipal Resources' $5,500 fee did not include advertising, travel expenses, or the comprehensive background check that Bates said would cost $900 per candidate at the final stage.
After brief discussion, board Vice-Chairman Dan Davey made a motion to hire MMA, which was carried 3-2. Chairman Doug Pope and Selectman Arnold Hill opposed the motion.
MMA's fee will be sourced from a combination of a $4,000 contingency fund and an article that allows the select board to spend up to 10 percent of unspent monies from a financial year.
In other business:
Hill made a motion to allow the town manager access to the appropriate trust funds for up to the cost of 100 gallons of oil or the equivalent in other heating sources such as pellets to assist needy families during the upcoming winter.
The motion was unanimously carried, but Selectman Ed LaFlamme cautioned that the board will have to carefully monitor the trust fund activity due to the upcoming transitions between Watmough, the interim town manager, and the next permanent town manager.
George Field V made a petition to install solar-powered lights atop nine graveyard flagpoles in Warren as part of work toward his Eagle Scout badge. Field's request was approved 5-0.
The Board of Selectmen also adopted General Assistance Appendix C, which updates the ordinance maximum for housing. The appendix must be re-adopted every year to account for updated figures.
The board retired into executive session for consultation with legal counsel.
Courier Publications reporter Bane Okholm can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or by email at email@example.com.