Search on for new Freeport town manager

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FREEPORT — Dale C. Olmstead Jr. will retire next April after 30 years as town manager.

Olmstead said he has planned to retire at 62, and will reach that age in March 2012. He became town manager in 1982.

Town Council Chairman Jim Cassida said Olmstead’s early announcement is helpful, since it will take a while to find a new manager.

“I’ve told council leadership that I have flexibility with the (retirement) date if they feel they may need some more time, but this will give them about six months to recruit and bring on a new manager,” Olmstead said. “If the process goes beyond that because of the transition, I have some flexibility.”

Olmstead said he and his wife, who is from Texas, plan to spend winters near her family and summers in Maine. They will upgrade a small camp they own in central Maine and spend their time there.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 4, the Town Council discussed the process that will be used to find a new town manager. According to Cassida, the council is leaning toward hiring a consulting firm that specializes in municipal hiring, and specifically town managers.

The council made no formal decision, but favors using the consultant with “some sort of public process,” he said.

Two other options Cassida presented to the council included creating a nine-member search team made up of past and present councilors, town staff and residents who would advise the council during the search process. Another option was to create a citizen committee, and give its members the option of hiring a consultant.

He said the council will meet with two consulting firms within the next few weeks and decide which one is a better fit for Freeport.

“It is a bit premature for a time line at this point, but the goal is to have a hire on board before (Olmstead) formally retires,” he said.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson.

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