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January 9, 2014

Derry officials to tackle town leader search

DERRY — The acting town leader hopes to have a new administrator at the helm by the summer.

Acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau said a new administrator could be in place by July, about a year since former Derry administrator John Anderson left his office.

Anderson awaits a February court date in the wake of indecent exposure and lewdness charges brought against him last August.

The town officially cut its ties with Anderson in October once the former administrator’s three-year contract expired.

After that, town councilors began talking about how to move forward to find Anderson’s replacement. The discussion was often divided, with some councilors opting for an outside recruiting firm to take over the work to find applicants. Others wanted to do a town-run search and save taxpayers some money in the process.

Budreau said the last four administrator searches were handled by an outside recruiting firm. The last search cost Derry $15,000.

One thing councilors did agree on was to participate in a goals workshop, something the group does on a regular basis.

This time, it was part of a plan to come up with goals prior to beginning an administrator search.

“In November, it was suggested that the Town Council develop its goals,” Budreau said. “That would help determine qualifications for the (administrator) position.”

Councilor Mark Osborne said he still supported handling the search process internally and making it as public as possible.

“But I’m probably in the minority,” he said. “I just can’t help but wonder how disappointed the silent majority of taxpayers must be to see their council is unwilling to shoulder this important task.”

Osborne said he was pleased with the goals workshop. He said it was nice to sit down with his fellow councilors and behonest with each other about what priorities should be.

He said he hopes the next administrator will be someone who puts taxpayers first and looks for every opportunity to maximize the town’s efficiency.

Councilors were scheduled to take up the town administrator search discussion at a meeting Tuesday night. The group will make further progress, Budreau said, after reviewing the goals workshop information and results.

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