HAMPDEN, Maine — After meeting with the finalist for Hampden town manager last week, the Town Council has decided to continue its search for Sue Lessard’s replacement.
Lessard confirmed Tuesday that the search is still active.
“They met Wednesday this past week, but were unable to come to terms with the finalist and the finalist decided to decline the town’s offer,” said Lessard, who announced her resignation after 11 years as town manager last August.
Lessard has remained on duty for Hampden, on a part-time basis, for the last couple of months to help bridge the gap until her replacement is named.
“I’m not really part of the loop, but I believe the council is in the process of determining its next step,” said Lessard, referring to her nonparticipation in the search process due to her status as acting town manager. “I’m thinking there will be no decision that can be made on any of this until the council’s first meeting next month, March 5.”
Lessard, who has taken a job as Southwest Harbor’s new finance director, explained that due to February school vacation and many people planning vacation time around it, the council typically has just one meeting in February. This year, councilors agreed not to have a second meeting this month since town charter requires just one, and will next meet in March.
Mayor and Councilor Janet Hughes said at the end of the last Town Council meeting that the finalist was one of three chosen by the council and that the other two were likely still in the running. She added that, as far as she knew, the other two were still amenable to accepting the job should councilors be unable to come to agreement with their top choice.