GREENBUSH, Maine — Local officials from this small Penobscot County town are gearing up to hire a new town manager.

About 25 people applied for the position before the Jan. 14 deadline rolled around, Town Manager Robert Littlefield said in a telephone interview on Friday.

While most of the hopefuls are from Maine, the candidate pool includes people from as far away as California, thanks to an online posting of the position by the Maine Municipal Association, he said.

Greenbush has a population of about 1,400 and is one of several communities that run along the Penobscot River.

A small group of local officials, including selectmen, is just beginning to interview finalists, he said.

Littlefield, who has been town manager here since July 1987, said he plans to retire this spring, possibly as soon as late February or early March, depending on how quickly his successor learns the ropes.

Littlefield, who is 60, also served as town manager of Vinalhaven, the island community off the Maine coast his family is from. He also served two stints in the U.S. Navy.

He said Friday that he plans to divide his time between the Greenbush area and the family homestead in Vinalhaven.