Warren selectmen prepare to interview candidates for interim town manager
Warren — Warren Board of Selectmen narrowed the pool of candidates for interim town manager from about 16 down to seven during a work session Oct. 10.
"We're on our own for this one," said Chairman Doug Pope.
The interim town manager will cover the gap left by the Nov. 26 retirement of Grant Watmough, who has held that position since January 1996. Selectman Michael York estimates that the search for a permanent town manager will take five to six months.
Watmough also serves as the town's code enforcement officer, a position that is temporarily being filled by Waldoboro Assistant Code Enforcement Officer Stan Waltz.
At least eight candidates were immediately eliminated from consideration for the interim town manager position, leaving Glenn Aho, Ron Grenier, Warren Hatch, Martin Krauter, Wes Richardson, Phil Tarr, and Justin VanDongen still in the running, selectmen said.
Selectmen paid particular attention to Aho and VanDongen's applications.
Aho served as Auburn's city manager for three years before the city council voted to oust him in a 5-1-1 vote on Oct. 17, 2011. According to published reports, Aho was removed from office due to disagreement regarding restructuring techniques meant to streamline the municipal government. Prior to that, Aho served as town manager in Lincoln for nearly 13 years.
Both Aho and VanDongen, certified Maine assessors, hold masters degrees in public administration.
Selectmen also demonstrated interest in Hatch, who has more than 14 years of municipal experience in Phippsburg, Bowdoinham and Damariscotta. Hatch recently served a 10-month stint as interim town manager of Newburgh following the abrupt resignation of three town employees.
Hatch is under consideration pending submission of additional application materials.
Candidate interviews will be conducted in executive session on Wednesday, Oct. 17 and Friday, Oct. 19 before Selectman Ed LaFlamme goes on temporary medical leave beginning Oct. 22.
Selectmen are considering hiring Maine Municipal Association or Municipal Resources, Inc. for guidance in hiring a permanent town manager, and are soliciting presentations from both agencies in order to determine how to proceed, selectmen said.
Courier Publications reporter Bane Okholm can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or by email at email@example.com.