May 24, 2023 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RE: Update on Bar Harbor Town Manager Search
FROM: Matt Hochman, Vice Chair, Bar Harbor Town Council
Contact Jill Goldthwait - firstname.lastname@example.org – 207-460-5461
Bar Harbor is looking for a Town Manager. At a March 16 Council meeting, residents were invited to identify the qualities a new Town Manager should possess. They included management experience, the ability to delegate and prioritize, tact, creativity, and communication skills. Residents recommended that our town manager be approachable, reliable, trustworthy, a deep listener, able to cope with stress, thick-skinned and tender-hearted.
In late February, the Bar Harbor Town Council hired David Barrett of the Maine Municipal Association to assist the Council with a search. Barrett developed an ad for the position that was approved by the Council and distributed regionally and nationally for publication.
The Council received 28 applications in response and met in Executive Session on May 5, as permitted by state statute, to review them. Six applicants were scheduled for interviews on May 23 and 24. However, by the time of the interviews three of the six selected candidates had withdrawn their applications.
The Council would prefer to leave the final decision to the “new” Council, the Council that will be elected by the June 13 town ballot. Four Council seats are open in that election. At least two of them, and possibly all four, will be held by new councilors. But there is a risk in drawing the process out to the point where more candidates are lost from the candidate pool. We will provide additional information as soon as the next steps are clarified.
The remaining three candidates each had a one-hour interview, one in person and two by Zoom. One was from Maine and two were from Massachusetts. The next step is for the Council to invite candidates selected from those interviewed to visit Bar Harbor for a full day, meet with staff, visit town facilities, and engage with the public. The details of that visit, including timing, are now being discussed in consultation with town staff.
We wish to thank Finance Director Sarah Gilbert for accepting the job of Interim Town Manager and performing brilliantly, as well as all staff members who have pulled extra duty while we seek to fill this critical position for Bar Harbor.
Matt Hochman, for the Bar Harbor Town Council