TREMONT — Selectmen took the first step toward finding a replacement for Dana Reed, voting 5-0 to contract with the Maine Municipal Association to help in their search for a new town manager.
Reed announced Aug. 31 that he plans to retire and would be leaving the manager’s job as of Dec. 1.
Selectmen subsequently sought proposals from personnel firms for conducting a search. Three proposals were submitted.
At $4,900, the Maine Municipal Association (MMA) proposal was the least costly of the three.
The Rudman Winchell law firm of Bangor submitted a $5,000 bid.
The third bid, from Eaton Peabody Consulting Group of Augusta, was the highest, at $8,000.
Two selectmen, Jamie Thurlow and Howard Goodwin, said they preferred to see if a candidate would emerge from advertising locally before spending money on a search firm.
“How about advertising for a couple of weeks and see what happens,” Thurlow said.
Reed suggested that a search firm could help selectmen decide on what type of candidate they need for the position and also attract a better pool of candidates.
Chairman Kevin Buck agreed, saying he wouldn’t know what questions to ask potential candidates.
Resident Mel Atherton urged the board to hire “a headhunter.” These people have contacts and knowledge beyond that of town officials.
“Five grand is a drop in the bucket,” he said.
Selectman McKenzie Jewett said she was in favor of advertising locally but also contracting with the MMA.
Buck said he also thought the MMA proposal was the best choice and responded to comments from some residents recommending that someone local be hired instead of someone from away.
“I know personally if we get two candidates, I’d go for the local one,” Buck said.
Selectman Chris Eaton’s motion to hire MMA met with approval.