EASTPORT, Maine — In a well-attended but brief special meeting Wednesday, the City Council hired former manager George “Bud” Finch as interim manager on a week-by-week basis.
Finch, who served the city as manager for 14 years, resigned last month, effective Dec. 31, saying he felt he did not have the support of the City Council.
Council Chairman Robert Peacock told the nearly three dozen attendees Wednesday night that he has been meeting with Finch two to three times a week to ensure the transition to a new manager goes smoothly.
With no discussion, the council unanimously hired Finch on an interim basis, approved the wording of an advertisement for a new manager, and approved the timeline for the process.
Peacock said that if a qualified candidate is found and accepts the position, a new manager could be in place by the end of March or early April.
If there are fewer than 10 candidates, the City Council will review the applications, Peacock said. If there are more than 10, a special citizens review committee would be established to help. Anyone interested in volunteering for that committee should contact the town office, Peacock said.
The council chairman also said the wording of the advertisement was created by himself and Finch with the assistance of the Maine Municipal Association. Advertisements will run for two weeks in the Quoddy Tides, the Bangor Daily News, the Portland Press Herald, MMA publications and other outlets.
All applications are due by Feb. 12, an ambitious deadline, some residents in the audience commented.
Before the meeting, Peacock said, “We as a council are trying very hard to keep everything as public and open as possible. I must say that the last four months working with the council, administration and city employees has been a true pleasure, as every one of us has the city’s best interest in our hearts, even if we may — and do — disagree on occasion.”
“Bud is doing a good job helping with the search and keeping up with city business, especially in water rates, sewer plant, and state revenue sharing issues,” Peacock added.
He said it was Finch’s request to continue on a week-to-week basis to allow him to leave should he find another position. Finch did not comment on the council’s actions after the meeting.
The regular selectmen’s meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11, during which time a $350,000 Community Development Block Grant to rebuild the fire station will be discussed. The council also will hold elections at that time, choosing a chairman.
Before the regular meeting, there will be a council workshop at 6 p.m. with a state biologist to discuss Eastport’s growing deer population.