And then there was one, winnowed down from 28 candidates

Rockland City Manager Search Committee recommends one candidate for position

Posted:  Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 1:00pm

ROCKLAND – The Search Committee for a new Rockland city manager had recommended an individual to the Rockland City Council to fill the position. Although not yet identified, Rockland Mayor Will Clayton said May 15 that the name of the one individual will be made public as soon as the candidate's permission is obtained.

City councilors and the search committee met in executive session for over an hour Monday evening, May 15.

Following the meeting Mayor Clayton said the committee had made a unanimous recommendation for a final candidate.

Before the council went into executive session former Rockland Mayor Louise MacLellan-Ruf addressed members and lauded the efforts of interim city manager Audra Caler-Bell.

"First I would like to publicly thank Audra Caler-Bell for her leadership as city manager for almost a year and a half," she said. "I have spoken to many of the city staff and there is a calm camaraderie that is refreshing. There is an attitude of hope and people are doing their jobs well.”

MacLellan-Ruf attributed Caler-Bell's tenacity and consistent attitude of moving the city forward after a tumultuous time as admirable.

"Audra has gone beyond keeping the city afloat,” she said. "She has righted the city and we as residents are better for it. I believe Audra has set the groundwork for a successful transition for a new city manager. Thank you Audra for your commitment to Rockland. Well done."

MacLellan-Ruf said the city council invite the community and members of the Search Committee to have an open dialogue and debriefing on the Search Committee process.

Did you find it successful, she asked. Were there snags with the process? What worked? What didn't?

She said discussing process does not break the confidentiality of the executive sessions.

Clayton said in a prepared statement that the council and all search committee members met in executive session Monday evening to continue the process of finding our next city manager.

"The committee made a unanimous recommendation of one candidate to the council," he said. "This unanimous recommendation came out of the interviews two weeks back. The council was able to ask the members as a group and individually what separated their recommended candidate from the others and if the applicant pool was qualified."

Clayton saide the candidate has Maine ties and past managerial experience.

“We are confirming their permission on releasing their name and it should happen shortly,” he said.

"We will be setting up an interview with council as well as an introduction to department heads and the citizens of Rockland," he said. "Understanding that this process takes time we are hopeful to expedite it as quickly as we can. The search committee needs to be recognized and commended for what they have achieved and in the manner they did it in."

Members of the City Manager Search Committee are:

Chelsea Averett, Personnel board and ad hoc educational committee and writer.
Steve Carroll, a local businessman
Adam Ackor, Sitting Rockland City Councilor
Patty Moran Wotton, local business woman
Wanda Harvey, city employee
Connie Hayes, Artist
Chris Whytock, Rockland Fire Chief