GARDINER — With the search for Gardiner’s next city manager beginning this week, residents will have opportunity Wednesday to weigh in on the qualities and abilities they seek in the city’s next administrative leader.

At the Heart of Gardiner workshop, Don Gerrish, the consultant hired for the city manager search, plans to staff a table at Johnson Hall so residents can lay out what they want in the city’s next municipal leader.

The workshop, scheduled for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., will also offer residents opportunity to share thoughts on the future of the city’s downtown.

“I will be part of your community gathering, having the public come in and talk to me about what they are looking for and the issues facing the city of Gardiner,” Gerrish said.

When the City Council met earlier this month, members gave their approval to a timeline developed by Gerrish, of Eaton Peabody Consulting Group, and the text of the proposed advertisement and a timeline for the search.

While elements of the timeline could change, city officials are targeting mid-October to name a new city manager.


Under the schedule, the advertisement for the position is expected to be placed this week, with Aug. 10 the deadline for applications. The following week, city councilors are expected to review the candidates whom Gerrish has recommended, and identify those they wish to interview.

Finalists will then be scheduled to meet with the public, city department heads and the City Council, with contract negotiations targeted for the first week in October.

Among the issues councilors covered in their discussion is whether they would ask the successful candidate to live in Gardiner.

Mayor Patricia Hart said that is not required by the city charter.

District 2 City Councilor Amy Rees said when Scott Morelli was city manager, one of the few complaints she heard was he was not a taxpayer in Gardiner.

“I do think having someone who is paying taxes in town has some value,” Rees said. “I don’t think it’s a requirement, but I think it’s good.”


At-large Councilor MaryAnn White had raised the issue for consideration, noting it could be awkward if the job does not work out.

Hart noted that even if residency were desired, the current housing market might make buying a home in Gardiner difficult.

District 1 Council Terry Berry said making residency a requirement does not make sense, because the city has a fire chief who is not a resident and had a city manager who was not a resident.

At-large Councilor Tim Cusick said the city has had talented managers who were not residents, and he would not want to hold someone to a residency requirement.

Gerrish said asking for residency might deter or limit candidates who do not live far from Gardiner and do not want to sell their houses.

“The philosophy used to be you wanted to live in the community you managed in,” Gerrish said. “With technology and everything, and with two people working in a family, most communities have gotten away from making that mandatory. It’s a suggestion, but it’s not mandatory.”


Councilors also agreed to set the salary range for the city manager’s position at $85,000 to $100,000, based on experience and qualifications.

“I’ll also ask what their salary expectations are,” Gerrish said.

The qualifications and experience outlined in the advertisement include at least five years of demonstrated municipal management experience or similarly demanding management experience, with a bachelor’s degree in public or municipal administration or a closely related field. A master’s degree is preferred.

Anne Davis, director of the Gardiner Public Library, has been serving as acting city manager since shortly after Christine Landes resigned near the end of her three-year contract.

Davis has served as interim city manager twice before while city officials searched for an administrative leader.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: