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Ashby officials narrowing field of candidates for administrator


By Katina Caraganis


ASHBY — A committee searching for a new town administrator continues to pore through dozens of applications in hopes of selecting a few candidates to interview.

Selectman Dan Meunier said resumes have come in for the position, but the full board has not received an update on where the search committee stands with interviews.

The town had been without an administrator for nearly two years before coming to terms with Ashburnham to share the services of Doug Briggs. Both towns paid a portion of his salary during the yearlong process, but Briggs went back to his job in Ashburnham full time over the summer.

Last month, selectmen unanimously agreed to pay Jennifer Collins, the assistant to the town administrator, a stipend to perform the work of a town administrator until a permanent one is hired.

Meunier said for him, an ideal candidate needs to be able to work well with the existing staff.

“The biggest thing is they have to be very good with people management. We have a great staff here. They need to be a people person with municipal experience. We don’t have someone there all the time, so they need that,” he said.

The next administrator also needs to be organized, Meunier said.

“They need to come in and take control. Doug started doing some things when he was here, but there’s still a lot to be done,” he said.

One of the biggest projects he’d like to see completed is a new plan for the police station, which is currently in a double-wide trailer behind town offices.

“There’s still an issue with the dispatchers and the station, but that’s not something that will happen overnight,” he said.

Selectman Mike McCallum will be serving on the screening committee with other town representatives and said he’s anxious to see how things pan out with the search.

“In sports, teams are always looking for the best athlete. I’m doing the same thing here. I’m looking for the best athlete for this town,” McCallum said.

He said his major concerns are the police station and upcoming school building projects, but said he’s confident things will continue to run smoothly if a candidate isn’t found right away.

“We’re not desperate. If we get a good candidate, I’m sure we’ll hire (him),” he said.

Follow Katina Caraganis on Twitter @kcaraganis.