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AYER — Ayer Interim Town Administrator Jeff Ritter is one of five finalists to become Auburn Town Manager.

The post is new to Auburn after voters approved a charter change in 2009 to switch from a Town Administrative to a more self-directed and powerful Town Manager form of government — a notion that may be considered in Ayer when a Town Governance Study Committee is empaneled in the coming weeks.

Ritter gave Ayer selectmen a heads-up this week about the news. Ritter has not indicated publicly if he’s a candidate for the permanent Town Administrator post in Ayer.

Ritter faces four other candidates for the permanent Auburn job, including the acting Auburn Town Manager, Charles O’Connor, who’s filling the void until the final Auburn selection is announced. O’Connor previously served as the Town Administrator in Auburn from January 1, 2002 through July 13, 2009 when he was tapped to serve as Interim TM.

Back in Ayer, the Town Administrator Screening Committee continues to weed through a stack of 66 resumes of those seeking the Town Administrator post. They’ve been charged with returning five finalists and two reserve candidates in case any of the five withdraws before public interviews with selectmen.

Ritter is under contract in Ayer until June 30. His salary is $92,000, but pro-rated according to the number of weeks actually served on the job in Ayer.