By James Niedzinski
---- — LONDONDERRY — Former Town Manager David Caron, who resigned in July amid a controversy over impact fees, has become the acting town administrator for North Hampton.
Caron was hired for the interim job for three months, but that may be extended by North Hampton selectmen, Chairman James Maggiore said.
Caron took a leave of absence in June because of a family medical issue, then resigned a month later. His resignation came shortly after acting Town Manager and police Chief William Hart announced the town had to refund more than $1.2 million in impact fees to more than 400 landowners and developers.
Some of the money was collected in error and a portion was not used within six years as required, Hart said earlier this year. No blame was placed on Caron at that time and Town Council Chairman John Farrell wished Caron and his family the best of luck in a statement earlier this year.
Caron said the family medical issue was the only reason he resigned and he had been trying to resolve the impact fee problem.
“The impact fees had nothing to do with my resignation,” he said. “We were working on the project for nearly a year and, from my perspective, we were about 90 percent done with it.”
Once his family member’s health improved, Caron said, he decided to find a new job.
Caron earns the equivalent of $83,200 a year in his new position and works 32-hour weeks. He was earning about $86,500 a year when he started in Londonderry, but about $121,000 when he left. Caron had worked in Londonderry since 2003.
Caron’s experience made him the ideal candidate, Maggoire said. North Hampton received about 60 applications for the interim position. Selectmen were aware Caron had resigned from the Londonderry job and also were aware of the impact fee problem, he said.
“Some applicants had experience on boards or commissions, but Dave had real experience as a manager and administrator,” Maggoire said. “We also needed someone who could fill the position immediately.”
Caron said he enjoys his new position, but would not speculate whether he will apply for the full-time job. The deadline for applications is Sept. 28. Maggoire said the town is happy with Caron’s performance so far.
“I can only speak for myself, but from what staff members have told me, Dave is doing a great job,” Maggoire said.
In Londonderry, the search for a permanent town manager is underway. The Town Council received more than 60 applications.
Hart was appointed for a 120-day term in July. Councilors are making a list of their top candidates and will compare their choices next month, Town Council vice chairman Tom Dolan said.
The deadline for applications was Aug. 31; Hart has not applied for the position.
“This is a very important position,” Dolan said. “We want to make sure we make the right decision to better the community.”