FAIRFIELD — The Town Council has narrowed the field of candidates for the open town manager position and is scheduling interviews with prospective managers.

Town Manager Joshua Reny announced his departure last month, and the council immediately started a search for a new top administrator. Reny took a job as the new assistant city manager of South Portland.

Council Chairman Robert Sezak said Tuesday that the town has received 18 applications for the position. A number of candidates were from Maine, but the list also included people from as far away as Idaho and Alaska, he said. The town accepted only physical applications and the deadline to apply was Friday.

The council has reduced the number of candidates to six. Sezak said the town’s human resources staff was scheduling interviews with the candidates for this month.

Reny will stay at the Town Office in a part-time position while the council works through its selection process.

Councilors met in an executive session Sunday to discuss the candidates. After the meeting, they voted to retain Reny on a prorated basis after Sept 18, his official last day, Sezak said. Reny will likely work in the Town Office a few days a week until he starts his new position Oct. 2 in South Portland, he added. Sezak said he wasn’t sure if the Town Council would have a new manager in place by the time Reny leaves, but soon afterward. Town Office staff members and tax assessor Cindy Tuttle will fill in until a new manager is selected.

“We won’t flounder,” Sezak said. “We have a good, well-run ship, it’s a good team.”

Reny, 34, a Fairfield native, has been the town’s manager for five years. He took over after longtime town manager Paul Blanchette died in 2010.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: PeteL_McGuire

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