STANDISH — The searches for new town managers continue in Standish and Naples.
After 16 years, longtime Standish Town Manager Gordy Billington plans to retire once the Town Council settles on his successor. And in Naples, Ephrem Paraschak has already ended his time as Town Manager and left for the same job in Gorham, where he started on Sept. 1. The Naples Selectboard is currently looking for his replacement.
Both towns hired outside consultants in July to assist in their respective searches. Standish hired Maine-based law firm Eaton Peabody and Naples hired the Maine Municipal Association, a non-profit membership organization that provides various resources to municipalities in the state.
Standish Town Council Chairwoman Kimberly Pomerleau said that the search in Standish is “going well” and has been narrowed down to five candidates from 22 original applicants.
Pomereleau said that the council will be interviewing the five remaining applicants this week at Saint Joseph’s College – both in person and via videoconference.
“We have some great candidates,” she said.
In Naples, Town Clerk Judy Whynot is currently serving as interim town manager. Fire Chief Chris Pond is handling issues related to town buildings and facilities, and Finance Director Harriet Condon is serving as acting treasurer.
Naples Selectboard Chairman Jim Grattelo said in an interview that, as of Tuesday, Naples has received 19 applications – fewer than initially hoped.
Paraschak’s departure was announced in June and Grattelo correctly speculated at the time that the town would not have a replacement by the time Paraschek left.
“We felt it was the worst possible time to advertise,” Grattelo said this week, noting that many people were on vacation at the end of the summer.
Grattelo also said that turnover in other town manager positions across the state has led to a smaller number of applicants to chose from.
“The pool for applicants is slim right now,” he said.
The Naples Selectboard decided to extend the application deadline to Friday, Sept. 22. Grattelo said that reasoning was twofold: to give more applicants an opportunity to apply, and so that the board could accept several applications that came in since the original deadline.
After the deadline on Friday, Grattelo said the board will work with MMA to whittle the applications down to five candidates who they will then interview.
Grattelo is confident the town will find the right manager for the job.
“Absolutely… we will,” he said.
Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.
The Naples Selectboard discusses several town manager search proposals during a meeting in July.