Buckfield seeks input on town manager position

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BUCKFIELD — Selectmen on Tuesday decided to put off developing criteria for filling the town manager position until a special public hearing is held next week.

Former Town Manager Glenn Holmes left his longtime managerial position in January, and the board hasn’t yet decided whether to fill it with another full-time employee or to look at some other way for the town to be managed.

Presiding over Tuesday’s meeting was interim Town Manager Dana Lee, who is a former town manager for the towns of Mechanic Falls, and most recently, Poland. Tuesday night’s board meeting was his first as interim town manager.

He said a public hearing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at the town office. Residents will be asked if they want have a full-time manager, a part-time manager, share a manager with another town, or some other option.

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If the preference is for a full-time manager, selectmen would develop a list of specific skills needed and a time line for filling the position.

Complicating the hiring process is a question of whether the Public Works Department should have three full-time positions or stay with the current two, which are supplemented by a part-time person as needed.

Lee said one option may include additional highway-related duties for whomever fills the town manager position.

Selectmen expect to develop and approve an advertisement for a town manager soon after the Feb. 16 hearing.

Lee has been hired as interim town manager for up to 90 days. He has said that he will stay longer if needed. He also indicated Tuesday night that he may be interested in the position in Buckfield.

He is currently serving as a municipal consultant.

“I’m keeping my options open,” he said.

In other matters Tuesday night, the board agreed to purchase $100,000 insurance coverage for the interim town manager position at an annual cost of $350.

If such insurance is not necessary for a full year, Lee said the premium would be prorated and the town would receive a refund of the amount not used.

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