CHESHIRE — After a host of interviews, town councilors have narrowed a field 58 applicants for town manager to four finalists, and could name a top pick by the end of the week.
Michael Milone, town manager since 2000, plans to retire in June. Councilors said they want to find a replacement before their present terms end this weekend. Nearly all the councilors will return after victories in November’s election.
Town Council chairman Rob Oris said a council search committee interviewed seven applicants, narrowing the field to four finalists.
“Those four finalists have been interviewed by the full council,” Oris said.
The search committee consists of Oris, a Republican, councilor Tom Ruocco, a Republican, and Peter Talbot, a council Democrat.
Cheshire hired a search consultant, GovHR USA, for $23,000 to help find a town manager. Oris said the Illinois-based company has expertise and contacts that the town lacks.
He expected the council to pick a town manager by the end of the current term. Oris, Ruocco and Talbot were all re-elected in November.
The new council is sworn in this Sunday and has its first meeting on Monday. Talbot said all the councilors hope to have the next town manager chosen by the weekend.
“We’re trying to get this done as quickly as possible,” he said.
Council leaders hope that the incoming manager would shadow Milone for some time before the transition is made.
Both Oris and Talbot were pleased with the number and quality of people who applied for the job.
“We had an impressive pool of applicants right from the start,” Talbot said. “It was a difficult process to whittle it down.”
Talbot agreed with the hiring of a consultant, saying the firm helped bring in applicants the town may not have otherwise attracted.
“It was a tremendous help with the entire process,” he said. “We used an organization that knew where to advertise this position. By advertising it in the right places, and Cheshire being the community that it is, I think that those two factors contributed to us getting such a great pol of candidates.”