May 25, 2018
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Still no word from Bangor city manager candidate

By Eric Russell, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — It’s been a week since city councilors hosted their top city manager candidate for dinner at a Bangor restaurant, but they have yet to hear whether he plans to accept the job offer.

City Council Chairman Richard Stone said he and his colleagues all agreed that the meeting with the unnamed, out-of-state candidate went extremely well.

“It’s a big decision for him and his family. We expected him to take some time,” he said Wednesday.

The council did not impose any deadline for a decision, although Stone said at some point the council would certainly have to address the matter. Other councilors said privately on Wednesday that they were concerned about the lack of communication between the candidate and the city.

A nationwide search to find a replacement for longtime Bangor manager Ed Barrett began in February and has been coordinated by the Mercer Group, an Atlanta-based recruitment firm.

In July, councilors narrowed the list to three finalists, each of whom was brought to Bangor to interview in person for the position, which has been vacant since December, when Barrett took the city administrator position in Lewiston.

Bob Farrar, who was Barrett’s assistant city manager for several years, was appointed interim city manager soon after his boss left. Farrar did not apply for the job permanently and is expected to return to his position of assistant city manager and human resources director once the city manager post is filled.

Stone and other councilors have said that the top candidate received unanimous support of the council and was formally offered the job almost two weeks ago now. One of the other finalists has removed their name from consideration, which would leave only one other potential candidate.

By municipal charter, the City Council oversees the contracts of four positions: city manager, city solicitor, city clerk and city assessor. In January, councilors hired the Mercer Group, and so far the city has paid $16,500 for the firm’s services and up to $8,000 in other costs such as travel and advertising.

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