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PEPPERELL — Shirley Town Adminstrator Kyle Keady was named one of three finalists for the same position in Pepperell.

Pepperell’s seven-member Town Administration Search Committee presented selectmen on Monday the names of three finalists from an initial list of 56 applicants to replace Robert Hanson, who is retiring on Sept. 30.

In addition to Keady, who was also a selectman in Shirley before becoming town administrator, the other finalists are Charles Blanchard of Paxton and Richard Kwiatokowski of Orange.

Keady attended Monday night’s meeting.

Candidates will be offered the chance to be interviewed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during two weeks. Hanson had suggested that if one candidate per week were interviewed, it would be an advantage to whomever interviewed last.

Search Committee members squabbled mildly about details of the final interviews.

Selectman Joseph Sergi suggested that town department heads and more residents be allowed to get involved with the final selection, but was denied.

Hanson pointed out that selection is a “unique empowerment of the Board of Selectmen.”

“The seven of us are citizens,” Search Committee Vice Chairman Judith Dalton added. “Bottom line, if we all agree on three, you’ve already got citizen input. I don’t want department heads thinking they have more input than they do.”

Sergi explained he had been trying to set up the ability to see responses from a number of residents to answers the candidates might give.

“When you get into things like vision and working in different situations, it is a whole different dynamic than if it was just us observing,” he said.

“I agree, but if each of us asks our own questions we’ll have the input,” Selectman Joseph Hallisey said. “At the end of the day, we’re all citizens.”

Search Committee Chairman and Selectman Patrick McNabb said the group has met each week since March 26. Other members include Treasurer/Tax Collector Michael Hartnett, Council on Aging Director Sharon Mercurio, Richard Potts, Highway Superintendent Peter Shattuck, and P. Derek Ten Broeck.

“We stressed confidentiality throughout. (Screening) was done outside of Town Hall, on our own Web site and via a separate e-mail account because many candidates are working,” McNabb said.

Advertising was done with the Massachusetts Municipal Council on Boston. com and Letters were sent to 49 communities located within an hour’s drive of Pepperell.

After an initial group was filtered out, the list was narrowed to 11 candidates during interviews at the Senior Center between June 11 and July 1. Given a $1,000 budget, McNabb reported the committee spent $707.

“I think you’ll be meeting some amazing men,” Dalton said.

“We were very impressed with the people we met. They had interesting ideas and all were very well qualified,” Potts said.