April 21, 2018
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Dates set for Brunswick residents to meet, question two town manager finalists

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

BRUNSWICK, Maine — The two remaining applicants to become Brunswick’s next town manager will meet with residents and answer questions during separate events next week at Town Hall.

Council Chairman Benet Pols announced Aug. 19 that the council had narrowed its search to two final candidates: John Eldridge, interim town manager and Brunswick finance director, and Presque Isle City Manager James A. Bennett.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, Bennett will meet residents at an informal open house at Town Hall. Residents can speak with Bennett, and refreshments will be served. At 7:15 p.m., residents can ask direct questions during an hourlong session to be televised on local access TV. Questions will be moderated by the town’s employment consultant, David Barrett of the Maine Municipal Association, to ensure they are “within the bounds of current employment law and best practices,” Pols said.

Eldridge will participate in a similar event on Monday, Sept. 8.

Bennett, who has served as city manager in Presque Isle since 2010, is originally from Lisbon, where he became a selectman at age 21, according to the city website.

He has managed seven Maine communities, including Dixfield, New Gloucester and Old Orchard Beach, and he was city administrator for Westbrook and Lewiston. Prior to accepting the top administrative job in Presque Isle, he served as interim town manager in Sabattus.

Eldridge, who has been Brunswick’s finance director for 26 years, was named interim town manager in February, after the Town Council dismissed former town manager Gary Brown.

Before coming to Brunswick, Eldridge served as town manager in Bradley and South Berwick.

Pols encouraged residents to attend the two events to meet the candidates. He said priority will be given to questions by those who attend in person, but questions also can be submitted by email to jfactor@brunswickme.org.

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