MINOT – Selectmen hired Arlan Saunders as Minot’s new town administrator Tuesday night, effective immediately.

Saunders, a Hebron native who has served as Minot’s road manager since October 1999, will retain his title as road commissioner even as he takes on the duties relinquished by Rhonda Irish when she left last week to become town manager in Wilton.

“I’m happy to hire Arlan; it’s good when you’re able to promote from within,” said Dean Campbell, chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

Saunders was, according to selectmen, clearly the best in a pool of 21 applicants, which included candidates from as far away as Virginia and Montana.

“In running the highway department, Arlan has shown he can stretch a dollar to get things done, but he also knows how to chase a dollar; he does that well,” Campbell said.

He estimated that merging positions will save the town about $30,000.

Saunders said Scott Parker, now carrying the title of crew supervisor I, will likely be elevated to crew supervisor II as he assumes day-to-day operations of the highway department.

“Scott’s been here six years plus and it would be very good to keep his interest here. The two other guys have been here five years. The highway department is in good shape and I’m thankful for those guys, they’ve made me look good,” Saunders said.

Saunders said that since the Town Office staff is small, he intends to undertake as much cross-training as possible so that all functions can be covered at all times. He has already scheduled courses dealing with tax lien procedures and government accounting.

Saunders and his wife used to run Saunders’ Store in Hebron Station and afterward he was a manager at Lee Auto Mall. Saunders was also a selectman and an assessor for Hebron for five years. He served on the Hebron Budget Committee and held a three-year term as director of the Oxford Hills Development Corp.

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