It all comes down to two, the finalists the Derry Town Council has narrowed from a field of 76 applicants for the town’s top job.
Richard Brown, town manager in Freetown, Mass., and Stephen Eldridge, recently town manager of Lisbon, Maine, both want the job.
Residents had a chance to meet the finalists last week after they spent the day touring the town and meeting with town employees.
Unfortunately, only about 20 residents turned out for the forum, although some more likely watched from home. Still, that’s a disappointing number, especially given the town’s recent history.
Derry residents are very good about complaining about what’s wrong with town government, but not so good about speaking out or taking action.
They’re putting a lot of faith in the Town Council. Let’s hope it’s well founded.
When the Town Council decided to conduct the search on its own, we thought the money for a professional search firm would have been well spent. Let’s hope the council was correct.
Seventy-six applicants doesn’t seem like that many candidates for a job as important as this one. How the council narrowed the field to these two men isn’t known. Councilors studied resumes and conducted interviews in private.
Here’s hoping they make the right choice and the town can move forward, engage residents and be led by someone competent and of good character.
Derry is a challenge, but it also has a lot going for it. The town deserves a leader who wants to be here and is willing to put his shoulder the wheel and get things moving in the right direction.