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Jaffrey town manager search down to two

JAFFREY — A five-member committee, which includes town officials and Jaffrey residents, has narrowed its search for a new town manager down to two candidates, according to Select Board Chair Jeanne LaBrie.

The Select Board will conduct interviews with the final two candidates in the week ahead, LaBrie told the Ledger-Transcript on Tuesday. By next Wednesday, she said the board hopes to make a conditional offer of employment.

“But at that point we would still have to negotiate a contract,” LaBrie said. “It will be a while before we can give out a name.”

A total of 37 people from throughout the United States applied for the open town manager position. The five-member search committee was charged with vetting the 37 applications and identifying four finalists for the job, LaBrie said. The committee interviewed the four candidates and narrowed the list down to two before forwarding those names to the Select Board.

Jaffrey’s town manger of five years, Mike Hartman, accepted a job offer as town manager in Stoughton, Mass., in November 2012. He served his last day with the town of Jaffrey on Dec. 14, and Department of Public Works Director Randy Heglin took over as interim town manager three days later. Heglin has served a dual role as DPW director and interim town manager since that time.

Shortly after Hartman’s resignation, the Select Board appointed a five-member committee, which includes Thomas Rothermel of the town’s Historic District Commission, Town Moderator Marc Tieger, Jaffrey Public Library Director Joan Knight, Steve Christian of Red’s of Jaffrey and Heglin to assist the board in its search. The Select Board also procured the services of Massachusetts Municipal Association to assist the town with advertising for the open position and collecting applications. Town officials paid between $12,000 and $14,000 for help from the firm, LaBrie said.

In an advertisement published online and in publications for the Jaffrey town manager position, the posted salary was $100,000. According to the advertisement, a bachelor’s degree is required, and a master’s desired. When Hartman left Jaffrey’s employment, his annual salary was $100,000.

LaBrie said Tuesday that a candidate’s prior experience in municipal government and as a town manager is important.

“The right person will know the job, the town and the state,” LaBrie said. “We want him to commit himself to Jaffrey in the years ahead, although we are not requiring the person to live here in town. ...We hope they are good with people, too.”

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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