AUBURN — For city manager candidate Clinton Deschene, its all about attitude.

He likes the attitude he sees in the city, and thinks his would match well.

“I like to think about the potential here, and I can really see it — maybe because I’m a newcomer to the area,” Deschene said Tuesday. “A lot can happen here, with the kind of people you have.”

Deschene spent the day getting familiar with Auburn. He attended a morning directors meeting with city department heads then had an afternoon lunch with a group of Auburn business owners. That lunch was arranged by the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce.

Meanwhile, his wife, Jennifer, was taken on a tour of the city by Auburn staffers.

“I think that’s been one of the good things about this process, getting to meet the spouses,” said Councilor Belinda Gerry. “It gives us a little bit different look at the city, from a family point of view.”

Later on, the couple met with city councilors and community members at a reception in the Auburn Public Library.

Deschene graduated from high school in 1991 in Presque Isle and graduated from University of Maine, Orono in 1995. He graduated with a law degree from Suffolk University in Boston in 1998 and began working for the town of Bradford in 1999. He began working in Hermon in 2002.

The couple has two children: a daughter Reagen, 6, and son Duke, 2.

Hermon might not be as big as Auburn, but Deschene thinks he’s up to the challenge of managing a bigger city.

“Hermon’s a lot bigger than people think,” he said. “There’s a difference in scale, and I think you would be foolish not to admit that. But beyond that, it’s municipal issues that don’t know boundaries of population and town value. They continue, no matter where you go.”

Benjamin Marchant, the other candidate for the job, came to Auburn last week for a similar tour and public session.

Now it’s up to the city councilors. They’ve scheduled a special workshop executive session Thursday night to discuss the city manager’s job and select the final candidate. That meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

“Council has to come to a conclusion, if it’s one or the other — neither,” said Don Gerrish, acting city manager.

Once they’ve picked their favorite, they’ll begin negotiating a salary and contract. If negotiations go smoothly, the new manager could start in June.

“That’s a whole different process,” he said. “Different people value different things, so each contract is different. Most last for three years — that’s pretty standard — but some want more time off, or more money or the ability to work from home one day a week. That’s all part of the package the council needs to work out.”

LaBonte said he also hopes councilors will help design a process to review the new manager’s progress.

“That way we can catch things that might become a problem before they do,” LaBonte said.

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