SKOWHEGAN — Selectmen this week hope to whittle down the number of applicants for the open town manager’s job from the 36 resumes received by the Maine Municipal Association to about six.

David Barrett, MMA’s director of personnel services, said advertisements for the vacant position were placed in Maine newspapers and in online venues, including the MMA website, in February after Town Manager John Doucette Jr. stepped down. Barrett said of the 36 applicants, 13 of them are from Maine.

An executive session was set for Tuesday night at which Bartlett and the Board of Selectmen planned to discuss the resumes.

“I sent them up a few weeks ago for selectmen to review, and they’ve been doing that; and tonight they will talk about who they would like to invite to Skowhegan for an interview,” Bartlett said.

The job also was advertised in the International City Managers Association newsletter.

Bartlett is handling the job applications because Skowhegan’s human resources director, Christine Almand, who would have spearheaded the process, is an applicant for the job.

Bartlett said the job description for town manager says the town wants someone who has “considerable experience of a managerial nature, preferably in local government.”

He said he hopes to leave the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday night with about six names of people he will contact and set up the interviews in Skowhegan. The selectmen as a group will meet with each of the finalists to whittle down the field further.

Doucette was set to retire Feb. 28, but he abruptly left his job for personal reasons in mid-January. He was making $66,837 a year when he left.

The Board of Selectmen accepted Doucette’s resignation in December. His contract was effective through December of this year. Doucette is also a former Norridgewock town manager, a position from which he resigned in May 2008.

Road Commissioner Greg Dore, who is interim town manager and a candidate for the full-time position, said selectmen are waiting for board Chairwoman Betty Austin to return from medical leave before selectmen sit down as a panel to go over resumes.

He said the final process of screening applications should take about a month, meaning the board could have a finalist by its April 22 meeting.

Dore said Austin is expected back for the regular meeting of the board March 25.

He said the board also will consider applications for Skowhegan fire chief at that meeting. Tom Keene, the former fire chief, was released by Doucette at the end of December.

Keene, 58, had been chief for 21 years and a firefighter for more than 40 years. In the last two years, both his legs were amputated because of complications from diabetes. He went on medical leave Sept. 19 after his most recent surgery.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367 dharlow@centralmaine.com Twitter: @Doug_Harlow