SHIRLEY -- The corner office in the town offices has had a troubled history of late. It once housed the former town administrator, fired for just cause over three years ago. An interim manager occupied it for awhile, followed by a new chief administrative officer, who later resigned at selectmen's request.

Now, the office has been empty for several weeks and the job it was created for -- whether the former title or the latter -- remains open as well.

Monday night selectmen discussed how to fill the position and when, briefly revisiting a subject Selectman Kendra Dumont brought up the week before.

The general consensus was that a full, three-member board should be seated when the hiring decision is made, and that it should be the reorganized board in place after the April 30 election, rather than this one. The question then became when to start the process.

As for the job description, that's still a work in progress.

Selectman Andy Deveau, who has submitted his resignation and will step down before the election, said the other two members, both of whom will still be there post-election, might want to think about creating a selection committee now.

Dumont agreed that the new board should make the call, but that doesn't mean work can't begin sooner. "It's a long process," she said, citing a recruitment guide put out by the Massachusetts Municipal Management Association that lays out the hiring process for municipalities in the state. "I had hoped to get the conservation started."

"Previously, I wanted to wait for a full board," Chairman David Swain ventured.


But individual board members (Deveau excepted) should begin considering what they want the job description to look like and what kind of candidate they're looking for, he said.

And the information loop should include the two candidates -- Bob Prescott and Rico Cappucci -- vying for the one-year unexpired term. "We should keep them up to speed," Swain said.

Deveau noted two ways the board could go from here. First, they could do it solo, which he said members have indicated they're not prepared to do, or they could seat a screening committee to sift through applicants after an advertisement goes out.

The board agreed that would be a good first step, starting with a call for volunteers to serve on the committee, with letters of interest submitted to the selectmen by May 1.