DERRY — After narrowing a search down to a final town administrator candidate, the Town Council has decided to start over from scratch.
At a brief meeting July 7, Council Chairman Mark Osborne announced a new search would begin to find Derry’s next leader.
This comes after a final two candidates had been chosen from a field of 76 applicants. The two men came to Derry for final interviews and a public forum.
The two finalists were Richard Brown from Massachusetts and Stephen Eldridge of Maine.
One of those men emerged as a better candidate, but Osborne would not say which one that was.
After more discussion and taking public input into consideration, councilors made no decision and decided to keep looking.
“We had many talented applicants,” Osborne said. “But we owe it to Derry to reopen the search for a new town administrator.”
He said the group was “close” to making a decision, but not where they wanted to be to choose the next administrator.
Osborne said both final candidates were “incredibly qualified” and had a lot of experience. But it was a unanimous decision to start another search.
He credited both finalists for their many years of experience and potential commitment to the job, but said the final decision has to be the right fit for Derry.
“We wanted someone to be as invested in the community as we are,” Osborne said. “We want he or she to be the best candidate we can feel good about. No one felt the search process should be at an end.”
He said prior applicants need not apply again. An updated job posting will be released soon.
The new ad will include more refined details about experience required and will also include a salary range for the job, $100,000 to $125,000, depending on a candidate’s qualifications.