Community Invited to Meet Town Administrator Finalists

A public forum for community members to meet the finalists for Derry Town Administrator will be held Thursday, Sept. 4, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Council chambers at the Derry Municipal Building on Manning Street.

The Town Council has been seeking an administrator since its former administrator, John Anderson, terminated his relationship with the town in October 2013.

A previous search this past spring brought two candidates before the town, Richard Brown of Massachusetts and Stephen Eldridge of Maine. Though both men made it to the interview stage, they were ultimately deemed not the best fit for Derry, and the search was reopened.

A meeting for town employees with the finalists will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 4.

Council chair Mark Osborne said in a phone interview Tuesday, Sept. 2, that 66 resumes were received in the reopened search. “The second search was fruitful,” he said. “As before, we had really good candidates.”

Osborne is hopeful that two things will come out of the Sept. 4 public meeting. “One, I hope the community will be involved in helping the Council pick someone for this incredibly important job,” Osborne said. “Two, I hope the community realizes we are having the public forum because we want them to be involved.”

Osborne observed that in other towns around the state, the administrative leader is often chosen by the selectmen, Town Council or a steering committee, with no input from the public. Derry, he said, has “gone out of our way to avoid any appearance of back-room dealing.”

The three finalists are Galen Stearns of Windham, Peter Graczykowski of Rhode Island, and a third candidate who did not want his/her name revealed because the person has not yet decided whether to participate in the public forum.