Search for new Houlton town manager continues

Posted June 11, 2014, at 12:10 p.m.
Last modified June 11, 2014, at 1:45 p.m.
Eugene Conlogue
Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Eugene Conlogue Buy Photo

HOULTON, Maine — After an initial round of resumes for town manager failed to impress councilors enough, the community re-advertised the position.

“We’ve extended the search until June 16,” Chairman Paul Cleary said Friday. “On the June 23 meeting we will have an executive session to go over the applications we have received.”

After its first round of advertising, the council received 18 resumes. Of those 18 applicants, seven were “solid,” Cleary said, but the board wanted to extend its search just the same.

“With everything that happened, the council wants to make sure we get it right this time,” Cleary said. “It doesn’t look good for the town to be changing town managers every 18 to 24 months.”

As of Friday, the town had received 13 additional resumes, bringing the pool of candidates to 31.

The town has been without a permanent manager following the abrupt resignation of Eugene Conlogue April 14. In his letter of resignation, Conlogue stated he was “pleased and highly honored” to have served as town manager for the past year and a half.

As part of his resignation agreement, Conlogue received 10 weeks of severance pay; 16.25 days of vacation pay; 13 days of sick pay; and continuation of health care benefits until July 31. The agreement also requires the town to provide Conlogue with a letter of recommendation. The total dollar value of the severance package is $24,426.

Conlogue was hired in September 2012, ending a lengthy search following the resignation of previous town manager Doug Hazlett in March, 2012. Hazlett served as town manager for seven years.

Houlton Police Chief Butch Asselin has filled in as interim town manager since Conlogue’s departure. Cathy O’Leary is the town’s assistant manager.

The town paid about $11,000 the last time it was searching for a town manager, because the Maine Municipal Association served as a consultant for the hiring process. This time around, the town has opted not to use MMA’s services. This time, Cleary estimated, the town has spent about $3,500 in advertising costs.

Cleary said no interviews were held from the initial round of applications. He did not rule out asking a candidate from that initial round to come to Houlton for an interview.

 

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