DERRY — Town councilors will handle the search for the next town administrator on their own. They won’t have to look far for one likely candidate.
Former town councilor Kevin Coyle said Monday he will likely apply for the top position.
Councilors voted, 5-2, March 18 to handle the search and hiring process on their own, rather than pay an outside firm.
Council Chairman Mark Osborne, Councilors Michael Fairbanks, Tom Cardon, Joshua Bourdon and Al Dimmock all voted to handle the search on their own. Councilors Phyllis Katsakiores and David Fischer opposed the motion.
Councilors will advertise the position, accept applications, interview and chose the next administrator.
Once that process is in place, Coyle said he would likely be on the candidate list.
“I’m interested in the job because I think Derry needs an administrator who understands Derry from day one,” he said. “I understand the budget process because I’ve done it. I understand the needs and desires of Derry citizens because I’ve been one for over 40 years.”
The 49-year-old Londonderry police prosecutor is a Rockingham County commissioner. He said he understands how towns work and what drives Derry’s high tax rate.
Osborne said he is aware of Coyle’s interest in the job.
Some in town are crying foul, saying Osborne and Coyle have been seen together at a local restaurant.
Osborne acknowledged he and Coyle have met privately, but denied having chosen a lead candidate.
“Presently, I and six other councilors are working very hard to set up a process that fairly and adequately vets all qualified applicants for the town administrator position,” he said.
Osborne also came under fire last week from former town councilor Brian Chirichiello for meeting with Dimmock outside council chambers. The two made a trip to Londonderry to talk to their counterparts about their search for a town manager last year.