DERRY | The deadline to apply for Derry's open town manager job has been extended by one week in an effort to attract additional candidates.

Interim Town Administrator John Moody said the agency handling the search thought more candidates would apply now that they know the outcome of the proposal to change town government. The Charter Commission's proposal to allow people to vote on big-ticket bonds and the budget failed by 45 votes at the polls earlier this month.

Representatives from Bennett Yarger Associates did not return calls for comment, but Moody said the last time he spoke with them, there were 35 candidates for the position. The original deadline was March 30 but has been extended to April 6.

"There was a feeling that ... they were anxious to see the outcome (of the charter proposal)," Moody said.

Moody said if all goes well, the council could be selecting a new town administrator by the beginning of May, and the person could start in early June. The position is being advertised for between $110,000 and $125,000, plus benefits. Residency is required.

A brochure put out by the agency, which was paid $13,000 for the search, listed the election under challenges.

"The election is about two competing philosophies around town governance," the brochure reads. "While Derry is the state's fourth largest community, there is some feeling that elements of the New England tradition of direct democracy needs to be revived. The new town administrator will arrive at a time when the political structure of the community may be shifting making the task of coordinating key opinion leaders a significant challenge."

The brochure also lists economic development, employee relations and public finance as challenges.

"The next Town Administrator will inherit a town that is well-managed, but historically under-funded," it reads.

It also says the ideal candidate for the position will be "able to deal with the ambiguity inherent with supporting a governance system that is conflicted about the benefits of continued growth."

Council members are also looking for someone who is highly visible in the community, willing to work with community groups and employees and a take-charge, but not totally hands-on, leader.

The person would also need at least a bachelor's degree, and a minimum of five years experience as a city or town administrator.

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