BUCKSPORT, Maine — Town Council members are discussing how to proceed with the search for a new town manager after negotiations with their top choice failed.
The council had hoped to announce the identity of the new town manager and the terms of the contract during a meeting Tuesday night. Instead, council member and Bucksport Mayor David Keene announced that they had been unable to settle on a contract with the primary candidate, identified as Brewer City Clerk Howard Kroll.
“We just couldn’t come to an agreement,” Keene said Wednesday.
Keene said he expects the council to meet again in executive session next Wednesday to discuss next steps. Town officials had received more than two dozen applications for the position and interviewed several candidates. Keene said they could decide to re-interview people or could reopen the application process.
Current Town Manager Roger Raymond had planned to retire in early January after more than 25 years with the Hancock County town. Raymond said Wednesday that he has made clear to the council that he is flexible, however.
“What I have told them since Day 1 is I will stay until they find another qualified [manager],” Raymond said.
Keene declined to specify where the negotiations failed. Council members require that the town manager agree to live in town. Keene said that did not appear to be an issue with Kroll or with several of the other candidates that the council interviewed, so he does not anticipate that the council will alter that requirement.
“We feel that if you’re going to manage a community, you should live in the community and be visible in that community,” Keene said.
The Bucksport town clerk, meanwhile, is looking for residents interested in serving on the Town Council.
Councilor Brian Leeman announced in early November that he was resigning from the council in order to devote more time to a new business.
Bucksport residents interested in serving the remainder of Leeman’s term, which expires on Jan. 9, 2013, should contact town clerk Kathy Downes by 5 p.m. on Dec. 8. Downes said that, under the terms of the town’s charter, council members will select Leeman’s replacement from the pool of interested individuals. An election will then be held for the next term, which begins in January.