LEWISTON — Acting City Administrator Phil Nadeau announced Friday that he is a candidate for the city’s top post, saying he’s well qualified after serving as interim administrator three times and deputy administrator the past decade.

Nadeau said he made the decision after discussing potential contract conditions with Ward 7 Councilor Robert Reed and Ward 4 Councilor Denis Theriault on Thursday.

Nadeau said he believes the search process to find a replacement for Jim Bennett, who was fired by the City Council on July 14 after eight years on the job, should be competitive and open.

“I think at the end of the day that’s the process you want to ensure you find the absolute best candidate for the job and for the city,” Nadeau said.

After officially becoming a candidate for the post on Friday, he said he could not be involved in the selection process. 
He said several resumes for the administrator’s post have been received, but he is not looking at them and had decided early on that until the council settles on a selection process he would not.

Besides his most recent appointment to the acting post July 14, he served in that capacity from April to November 2000 and from Nov. 15, 2001, to March 24, 2002. Prior to coming to Lewiston, Nadeau worked as the town manager in Richmond from 1994 to 1999.

On Tuesday night, councilors met behind closed doors for about an hour, first with Nadeau and then without him, to discuss the terms of his interim administrator contract. He said he couldn’t discuss the details until the council voted to ratify it, but the terms would be, “pretty straightforward.” Under the arrangement, Nadeau would return to his  position as deputy administrator if not selected as the administrator.

Nadeau is currently paid more than $87,000 a year.

Councilors voted 5-2 to buy out Jim Bennett’s contract without cause. Councilors Tom and Nelson Peters both voted to retain Bennett. Bennett receives the $110,000 remaining in his contract and full benefits for a year.

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