BRATTLEBORO -- The Selectboard is asking for citizen input as it gets closer to starting interviews with town manager candidates.
The Selectboard members, at their Tuesday night board meeting, approved the creation of a five-member ad hoc committee to help with the second round of interviews with the town manager candidates.
The board will accept applications until 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 26. Applications should be sent in to the town manager's office.
If there are more than five applicants then the board members will interview the committee candidates before the Selectboard meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1, and then form the committee after the interviews.
"We want, as part of the second round, to have a committee of citizens who will participate in the interviews," Selectboard Chairman David Gartenstein said. "I've had a lot of expressions of interest by people who want to be a member on the committee."
The town received 62 applications for the vacant town manager position which opened up when former town manager Barbara Sondag surprised the board with her resignation announcement on June 18.
The Selectboard met in executive session last Friday and went through the applications for the first time.
After Tuesday night's meeting the board met again and decided to only interview four candidates in the first round, though Gartenstein said late Tuesday that the number could change.
Gartenstein said the town only received a handful of applications from women, and he said the board was disappointed.
"We can say there was a wide range of applications among the 62 candidates," Gartenstein said. "We were disappointed in the fact that there were only a handful of women who applied for the job. I am not aware of anything in the job listing that would have caused any particular group to shy away from the job."
Gartenstein said the applications came in from a wide variety of candidates, including some with extensive municipal experience, others with no municipal experience, as well as from lawyers, consultants and business people.
For the first round of interviews, which the board hopes to start in early October, the board will meet with the town manager applicants along with Interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland and two other town staff members.
The board expects to reduce the finalists to two or three candidates after the first round.
In the second round the five-member citizens' committee will conduct interviews using questions approved by the board and then give feedback to the board.
A small group of town employees will also interview the candidates and then the Selectboard will hold a second interview with the finalists.
The candidates will also go on a tour of the town with Moreland during the end of the process.
All of the interviews will be held in executive session.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. Follow Howard on Twitter .