No decision yet on whether names will be public

Rockland manager search panel to meet with council

By Stephen Betts | May 06, 2017

Rockland — The city manager search committee plans to give a closed-door briefing to the city council on Monday night.

An executive session has been scheduled for the committee to provide a review of its interviews with five candidates that were held May 2 and 4. The interviews were held at the Farnsworth Art Museum and Library.

Search committee Chair Chelsea Avirett said Friday that no information would be provided until after the meeting with the council.

At the council's May 1 meeting, committee member Councilor Adam Ackor said the committee has been functioning perfectly. Ackor also serves on the search committee.

He said the stated goal was for the committee to present two names to the council after the interviews of which the council would interview and ideally select one of those two candidates.

He said the council needs to discuss what public component there would be for selecting from the two finalists. The council had discussed at the beginning of the process whether to make the names of the two finalists public and whether there should be a forum for the community to meet them before a decision was made.

The council also has yet to decide whether it should wait until the June 13 election for a fifth councilor to be elected. Mayor Will Clayton asked councilors at the May 1 meeting whether the council should wait but no decision was made. He asked the search committee to give its recommendation on that issue.

Former longtime Rockland manager Tom Hall (1999 to 2008) and longtime Augusta City Manager William Bridgeo met with the search committee on March 8 and recommended that the council both wait for the fifth councilor to be on board before a decision was made and to keep the names of finalists confidential.

Councilor Valli Geiger pointed out May 1 that the candidates would have to wait a month if the council waited for the election.

One of the two candidates for the vacant city council seat -- Stephen Carroll -- is on the search committee. Carroll is running for the seat along with candidate Amelia Magjik.

The other members of the search committee are resident Constance Hayes, Fire Chief Christopher Whytock, finance department member Wanda Harvey, and personnel board member Patricia Moran Wotton.

The committee interviewed at the Farnsworth because if the interviews were done at city hall there would be less confidentiality for the candidates. The cost to the city for the use of the Farnsworth was $125 to pay for security. The city set aside $8,500 to pay for assistance from the Maine Municipal Association and any other expenses for the hiring process.

Assistant City Manager/Community Development Director Audra Caler Bell has served as interim manager since James Chaousis resigned in June 2016.

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