Search committee to begin reviewing candidates Friday in Bridgton

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

The search committee charged with finding Alan Manoian’s replacement will begin reviewing candidates on Friday. Bridgton Town Manager Mitch Berkowitz said he’s received around a half a dozen applications as of Tuesday of persons wanting to become Bridgton’s director of Economic and Community Planning and Development.

The search targeted planning professionals throughout the Northeast, with the emphasis on planning. Around half of those who’ve applied are from outside Maine, Berkowitz said. “Certainly, we’d like to see some homegrown talent,” someone who is familiar with the dynamics of working with a small rural town in Maine, he said.

Selectmen, at Berkowitz’s recommendation, are looking for someone who has obtained certification as a municipal planner, and can develop a strategic plan for economic development, as well as help the Comprehensive Plan Committee with its ongoing work to update the 2004 plan.

The search committee, who will work with Berkowitz on deciding “which candidates we feel inspired to interview,” consists of Planning Board Chairman Steve Collins, Community Development Committee Chairman Mike Tarantino, Economic Development Corporation Liaison Skip Sullivan, Selectman Chairman Art Triglione, Comprehensive Plan Committee Co-Chairman Bob Wiser, Inn at Highland Lake owner Julie Welchell and Greater Portland Council of Governments Executive Director Neal Allen.

The committee will give Berkowitz their recommendation on whom to hire, but the final decision will be up to Berkowitz. He said he expects to announce the decision by the end of February, and — depending on how much notice the person needs to give his or her current employer — have that person start work sometime in March.

In the meantime, Berkowitz is doing his best trying to fill two jobs; his own and that of Manoian, whose last day on the job was Jan. 2. Manoian resigned after three and a half years to help care for his ailing mother in Lowell, Mass., but still plans to stay active as a planning consultant in Maine. On Wednesday, he was expected to give an overview of form-based codes to selectmen and planning board members in the neighboring town of Naples.

Please follow and like us: