BRATTLEBORO -- The Selectboard has reached its deadline for accepting Town Manager applications, and the board will interview seven candidates as it continues to try to replace former Town Manager Barbara Sondag, who resigned almost 10 months ago.
The board attempted to hire a new town manager late last year but after receiving more than 60 applications, and then negotiating with two finalists, the board was unable to come to terms with any of the candidates.
The board re-opened its search process in January, and Selectboard Chairman David Gartenstein said the town received 43 applications for the town manager position during the most recent round.
"The applications covered a wide range of skill sets," Gartenstein said. "People (applied) from all over the country, people with lots of town manager experience and people with absolutely no town manager experience."
Last time the board only received two applications from women.
Gartenstein said the board received eight applications from women this time.
"The applications were a little bit more representative this time," he said. "It is better than last time when we had two women from among the 65 or 70 applications."
The board increased the annual average salary it was offering for the second round from $75,000 to $90,000, to $80,000 to $95,000.
The board met in executive session Monday to go over the applications and came out of that meeting wanting to interview seven candidates.
Those initial interviews will be scheduled for the next few weeks.
Gartenstein said he expects the initial interviews to last about half an hour, with the board conducting the interviews with a small group of town employees observing but not participating.
The Selectboard will then cull the group down to two or three and bring those candidates back for a round of three interviews with the board, a group of employees and a citizens' group.
Gartenstein said the board will probably ask the same members of the citizens' group to serve for the next round of interviews. The board hopes to make an offer to one of the candidates in June.
Former Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland has been acting as interim Town Manager since Sondag resigned on July 23. Moreland did not apply for the Town Manager position last year, but he did hand in an application during the latest round.
Moreland sat in on the interviews when the other town employees were involved, but he said he will probably play a different role during this round since he is a candidate.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 279, or hwtisman @reformer.com. Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.