LEWISTON — City councilors have added a fourth name to their list of city administrator candidates: Bangor City Manager Ed Barrett.
Councilors interviewed Barrett at a hastily scheduled executive session at Lewiston City Hall on Wednesday night, then added him to their short list of candidates.
The council has scheduled a meeting for Nov. 18 to continue interviews with Barrett and the other candidates — Acting City Administrator Phil Nadeau, former Falmouth Town Manager John "Doug" Harris and former Gardiner City Manager Jeffrey Kobrock.
Councilors learned last Wednesday that Barrett was due to retire from his Bangor job, according to Human Resources Director Denis Jean.
"One of the councilors asked if he would be available, so we called him late last week," Jean said. "He was surprised by the call, and said he wanted the weekend to think about it."
Barrett told Jean on Monday that he was interested in the Lewiston job and sent his resume Tuesday.
Barrett has been Bangor's manager since 1988. He announced his plans to retire after an Oct. 26 executive session with the Bangor City Council.
Barrett said his agreement with Bangor sets his retirement on or before April 30.
"But I can give them notice earlier, if it's necessary," he said. "If I was selected for the Lewiston job, I would be able to give Bangor notice with enough time for them to get set up."
Barrett said he's visited Lewiston and plans to come back for a longer stay next week.
"I'm very interested, because both cities are a mix of socio-economic communities, downtowns and older neighborhoods, that I think there's a lot in common," Barrett said. "But there are some real differences, historically, that I think make them very interesting."
Councilors and members of a hiring committee met with a group of
seven candidates during the past two weeks, narrowing the list to
three as of Thursday. Those names and their resumes were released by
the city on Monday. Barrett's name was not among the original seven.
"That's because we've been going through this process for a couple of months and he just wasn't available then," Jean said.
Jean said Barrett's experience made him a good candidate.
"He's the kind of guy that has done a lot of the stuff that Lewiston is going through," Jean said. "It was a surprise that he might be available, and councilors were intrigued and interested enough to put him on their short list."