JOHN ELDRIDGE ... offered job

JOHN ELDRIDGE … offered job

BRUNSWICK

John Eldridge, who has been slated to become the next, permanent town manager of Brunswick, said that he is gratified with the support he garnered during the town manager search process.

“I think I demonstrated that, in the 26 years I’ve been here, that I’m someone who cares, who has a reputation for being a straight shooter, and has a level of integrity that resonates with people,” Eldridge said. “Hopefully, I’ll live up to those standards.”

The town council voted Monday to enter into contract negotiations with Eldridge.

On Tuesday, Eldridge said he was confident an employment agreement would be reached.

As the town’s permanent manager, Eldridge said he would take more initiative than he did as the interim manager.

“I think the idea of the interim is that, until the council makes a decision on where it wants to go on a longer-term basis, it’s not as conducive to suggest any long-term initiatives,” Eldridge said. “You just don’t know how long you’re going to be.”

Eldridge said he wants the town to develop strategic and long-term financial planning.

“We still have some pretty challenging financial issues in front of us,” he said. “Those are best handled on a longer-term view than budget to-budget. And it’s going to take quite a bit of work.”

A new finance director will now have to be hired. Eldridge said that it just isn’t possible to be both town manager and finance director.

As manager, Eldridge will be in charge of hiring the new finance director, and has said he is in discussions with the town’s deputy finance director, Julie Henze, to assume the role.

“We’ve talked about it. We’ve just got to sit down and talk about it in more detail,” Eldridge said. “I think she’s certainly qualified to do the job, but we haven’t made any commitments.”

Eldridge and Henze have worked together for years, and he noted Henze is a certified public financial officer.

“She’s a very hard working, very bright person who would do almost anything to help you,” Eldridge said.

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