GARDINER — As Gardiner officials kick off the search for the next city manager, they fully remember how the last search took 17 months and are hopeful the latest one will happen much more quickly.

Officials posted a notice Friday seeking executive support services on the city’s website and on the Maine Municipal Association’s job board. Support services range from developing the job posting through contract negotiations.

“I personally don’t think we found an urgency in getting the position filled (last time),” District 1 City Councilor Terry Berry said at the Gardiner City Council meeting Wednesday. “I think some councilors agree there is an urgency, and we would like to move forward with some very demanding timelines.”

Gardiner’s vacancy was created in March when Christine Landes, who was hired in 2018, resigned three months before her three-year contract would have expired. Anne Davis, director of the Gardiner Public Library, was appointed to fill in, because she had done so twice before.

Mayor Patricia Hart said during the last search, the initial posting did not attract much attention. City officials were counseled to wait before reposting the position.

In 2017, after Scott Morelli left Gardiner to become South Portland’s city manager, Gardiner officials agreed to hire David Barrett, director of personnel services for the Maine Municipal Association, to conduct the search for its next city manager.


While city officials said they hoped that search would take no more than six months, it lasted 17.

This time, Gardiner is one of nearly a dozen Maine communities from Caribou to Eastport to Portland looking for a manager, deputy manager or administrator, and have posted openings on the MMA job board.

Closer to Gardiner, both Richmond and Hallowell have undertaken searches, and longtime Augusta City Manager William Bridgeo has recently announced his intention to retire.

The request for proposal seeks information on those with experience conducting searches, a description of how the services would be provided and the search’s anticipated timeframe and cost.

Interested parties have two weeks to respond.

“We have the responsibility to look at what’s given back to us, to address it rapidly and move forward,” Berry said. “I think we have to move on with a very positive and determined attitude.”

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