Town Council Chairman Rob Oris, a Republican, said the consultant from GovHR USA, Heidi Voorhees, brings a lot of experience and expertise in searching for candidates.
“We certainly don’t have the expertise amongst us council members nor do we have the contacts or the experience,” Oris said. “We clearly needed a professional with significant experience.”
Voorhees is a former town manager. Oris said she has valuable contacts with municipal government professional organizations.
“She would be able to get us in front of some quality candidates,” he said.
Michael Ecke, a Democratic councilor, said a search consultant was valuable in filling the town’s top job.
“It’s the right thing to do. It’s an important position,” he said.
Councilors want to fill the position before the next council takes over in December. Municipal elections will be held in November. With Milone leaving next summer, Ecke said, it’d be a lot to ask of a new council to replace the town manager and create what’s likely to be a difficult budget.
“That’s not a lot of time to do that,” Ecke said. “The council wouldn’t have the time to give it the attention it deserves.”
“The next council would be just getting their feet on the ground,” Oris said. “We felt that was a really big burden to put on whoever is the next council.”
Voorhees will present candidates to a committee of councilors who will then pick finalists. The full council will assess the finalists and choose a town manager. Oris said he hopes to begin interviews in the fall.
This week, Voorhees conducted interviews with councilors and department leaders about what they’d like to see in a town manager. Oris said she’s also conducted research on the town.
A new manager may be hired while Milone is still on the job. Both Oris and Ecke said it’d be valuable for the new person to work alongside Milone but that it might be cost-prohibitive to pay two manager salaries for too long.