BRUNSWICK — The Town Council has scheduled a public forum to gather opinions from residents about the qualities they’d like to see in a new town manager. 

The council wants to involve residents in the selection process and get their input on the experience and abilities that should be required of the town’s top executive, Chairman Benet Pols said at a June 2 meeting.

The forum is planned for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 23. Applications for the position are due by the end of the month.

Holding the forum shortly before the application deadline will give town consultants helpful insight when they work up a short list of candidates, Pols noted. 

The town began advertising the position last week, and has enlisted David Barret, a consultant from the Maine Municipal Association, to help with the search process. 

In December, former Town Manager Gary Brown announced his resignation. He was expected to step down in late March, but councilors expedited his departure, removing him in an early February vote.

In other business, the council voted unanimously not to exercise its right to jurisdiction over the special permit application for a solar power array proposed by Bowdoin College and SolarCity. 

Since the solar array does not fit into any of the town’s zoning designations, it has to receive a special permit, Town Attorney Stephen Langsdorf explained.

Because special permits are unique, the zoning ordinance gives the council 30 days to decide whether to exercise its jurisdiction over approving the permit, which means another round of review and an additional public hearing. 

The project, planned for a Bowdoin-owned parcel at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, was given unanimous approval from the Planning Board last week. 

But due to a scheduling mix-up, an earlier public hearing date on the project was missed, delaying board authorization for two weeks. That delay will push back groundbreaking on the project, said Interim Town Manager John Eldridge. 

Councilor Gerald Favreau motioned to waive the council’s right to jurisdiction, noting that the project has already been thoroughly vetted and approved by the board. 

Peter L. McGuire can be reached at 781-3661 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @mcguiremidcoast.

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