More than 70 candidates have applied for the recently vacated assistant town manager job; so many, in fact, that a final choice will probably not be announced until early next month.
“We’ve received 74 résumés and are narrowing down the field with interviews, but haven’t finished the process yet,” Town Manager George H. (Bud) Dunham wrote in an email to the Enterprise responding to questions about the search. “Best case scenario is that I’ll have a recommendation for the board of selectmen for either July 18 (very hopeful) or August 1 (more realistic).”
Mr. Dunham declined to be more specific about the applicants. He did say, however, that the vast majority are from Massachusetts.
Human Resources Director Marie L. Buckner was able to shed a bit more light.
Ms. Buckner confirmed that most of the candidates are from Massachusetts, but that there are some from as far away as Nevada, Virginia, even Africa. Several others are from around New York and New England.
The candidates will interview with a team comprising Mr. Dunham, Ms. Buckner, David J. Sampson, chairman of the selectmen, and former selectman Susan R. James, Ms. Buckner said.
“We got a lot of high-quality applicants—a solid candidate pool that hopefully will allow us to take up where we left off,” Ms. Buckner said. “Doug brought us to such a high level of competency and expectation. The candidate will have big shoes to fill.”
Ms. Buckner was referring to longtime assistant town manager Douglas A. Lapp, who left late last month to take the town administrator’s job in Rockland.
Mr. Lapp had, for 14 years, been the go-to guy for information about pending contracts, construction work, bids, hiring and seemingly dozens of other projects and committee work that kept Sandwich moving along.
The $90,000-to-$120,000 job requires a candidate who is deft with people and paperwork and who can fill in for the town manager when necessary, according to the job posting that was on the town website for about two months.
The assistant town manager’s responsibilities are varied and numerous, according to the posting.
“Supervises several department heads. Provides project and program management, responds to inquiries and complaints, interacts with all departments and committees, and oversees all employees and functions in the absence of the Town Manager,” the posting said.
Ms. Buckner credits the large number of applicants, in part, to the candidates’ desire for job stability.
“There is a high level of turnover in municipal jobs,” Ms. Buckner said. “The stability of Sandwich, and the consistency in policy, is what they’re looking for.”
In addition, Mr. Dunham has a longstanding reputation as a good boss, Ms. Buckner said.
Ms. Buckner herself was Sandwich’s assistant town manager at one time, but she laughed when asked if she was in the running.
“That’s a big “no,”’ Ms. Buckner said. “I’m in my lane in human resources and would like to stay here—if they’ll let me.”