Oxford manager job attracts 13 applications

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Town of Oxford welcome sign

OXFORD — The Board of Selectmen was expected to meet in executive session Wednesday night, June 21, to review applicants for the town manager position.

Selectman Peter Laverdiere said the Board of Selectmen will review the applications at that time, but no time frame has been determined yet as to when the new manager will come on board.

Unlike the previous town manager hiring process, which included several public meetings to gather input from residents about what they would like to see in their next town manager, this process has been secluded from the public.

Selectman Chairman Scott Owens did not return a call from the Advertiser Democrat last week requesting information, including how many applicants, who is reviewing the applications, the timetable for hiring and so forth.

He did, however, direct Interim Town Manager Becky Lippincott, who has said she is an applicant, to respond that there were 13 applicants.

Laverdiere said initially on Tuesday, June 20, that all information, including the hiring process, was “confidential.”

Lippincott has served as interim town manager since former Town Manager Derik Goodine unexpectedly resigned on Nov. 17, 2016, after serving only six months.

Oxford has gone through a number of town manager changes since January 2016 when longtime manager Michael Chammings left to become Auburn’s community and economic development director.

Oxford Code Enforcement Officer Rodney Smith, who passed away in March, had been acting as interim town manager during that vacancy and did not apply for the town manager’s job.

Following Goodine’s resignation Lippincott was immediately appointed interim town manager Nov. 17 following a brief executive session. She retained her position as financial clerk for a combined weekly salary of $1,889, according to a three-month agreement signed by the board on Dec. 1, 2016.

The three-month agreement was from Nov. 21, or until such time as a permanent town manager was hired or both parties approved extending the agreement.

On May 18 the board announced it would advertise for a permanent town manager, with applications due by Thursday, June 15. Board members said the delay in advertising for a permanent town manager for six months was caused by the board’s desire to have Lippincott in place during the budgeting and annual town meeting period.

According to the latest advertisement for the permanent town manager, Oxford is seeking an individual with budgeting experience, grant administration and economic development experience, financial management skills, and good communication and public relations skills.

The Board of Selectmen would prefer a candidate with a degree and experience in public administration; however, individuals with equivalent experience and education are encouraged to apply.

The job description varies from the one put out last year. The board is no longer requiring five years, or any, full-time management experience.

Laverdiere said he was not aware of why that particular criteria was not required this time around.

ldixon@sunmediagroup.net