The executive search firm the South Portland City Council could hire to help find a replacement for outgoing City Manager Jim Gailey is proposing an 18-week search process, although it may be longer before the new manager could start work.

That process would include time for both city staff and the public to have input into what characteristics they would like to see in a new manager, as well as advertising the open position for four weeks and at least two rounds of interviews with up to six possible candidates.

The council met with the Eaton Peabody Consulting Group during a workshop on Monday, which also included further discussion about hiring one of the group’s principals, Don Gerrish, as the interim city manager.

Prior to the workshop, Gerrish said the goal was to “discuss the (search) process we have used in other communities and are recommending for South Portland.”

However, he also noted that “each community we have done searches for have had their own ideas and thoughts and we worked with them to incorporate those ideas (and) we would do the same with South Portland.”

In his memo to the council, Gerrish said the timeline he provided was just a sample and “once the exact process for South Portland is decided, we will develop a final timeline.”

Gerrish is set to begin work as the interim city manager on July 25, at a cost of $650 per day for a three-day work week and the fee for the city manager search will be an additional $9,500.

Gailey’s last day on the job is July 22. He is leaving South Portland to become the assistant county manager for Cumberland County.

– Kate Irish Collins

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