Cape Elizabeth received 38 applications from candidates interested in replacing longtime Town Manager Mike McGovern, who retires at the end of December.

The Town Council is scheduled to interview six semifinalists during executive sessions on Dec. 13 and 14, said Don Gerrish of Eaton Peabody Consulting Group, the firm assisting with the search.

Advertised nationally, the Cape Elizabeth job attracted applicants from across the country, Gerrish said. McGovern’s annual salary is $123,000 after working for the town for 38 years.

Meanwhile, South Portland has re-advertised its city manager’s position, which drew 23 applicants during an initial hiring effort that concluded last month.

The City Council offered the job to one of two finalists – Edward Collins of Lehi, Utah, and formerly of Maine – who accepted the position, but then backed out before signing his contract, city officials said.

In seeking a second round of candidates, the council decided to drop the requirement that the city manager live in South Portland. They hope to draw a wider pool of qualified candidates in southern Maine who might not relish selling their homes and possibly uprooting their families, especially in a tight housing market.


Posted on a variety of state, regional and national websites, the new ad says that living in South Portland is “desirable but not mandatory,” said Gerrish, who is serving as interim city manager.

The council is seeking a replacement for Jim Gailey, who left the job in July to become assistant manager of Cumberland County. Gailey was paid $121,000 per year, plus a monthly vehicle allowance.

The application deadline is Dec. 16, followed by resume review on Dec. 28, semifinalist interviews on Jan. 10 to 12 and finalist interviews Jan. 24 to 26, when finalists will meet residents during an informal community gathering.

A tentative time line anticipates announcing a new city manager by Feb. 6. Gerrish is expected to serve as interim city manager until the permanent city manager arrives.


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