Interim Town Manager Don Gerrish tells the Town Council Tuesday night that town manager candidate John Mauro has turned down the town’s offer. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

WINDHAM — Finalist for the town manager position John Mauro turned down the town’s offer July 8, leaving Windham without a town manager after completing two rounds of searches.

John Mauro, who currently works in New Zealand, was the council’s final candidate for the town manager position. File photo

After a meet and greet event June 21 at Town Hall, Interim Town Manager Don Gerrish said the council offered Mauro the position of permanent town manager, but “he let us know Monday that he had decided to not accept our proposal.”

According to The Peninsula Daily News in Washington state, Mauro has returned a signed offer letter to the city of Port Townsend, Washington, indicating his intent to serve as city manager there.

We know that he was offered a job in a community in Washington state. We knew he was looking at two jobs,” Gerrish said. “It’s not uncommon for a candidate to apply for more than one position.” 

“It’s a shame we didn’t get” Mauro, said Town Councilor Jarrod Maxfield.

Windham has been searching for a new town manager since October 2018 when then-Town Manager Tony Plante left with a $175,000 severance package amid turmoil on the council about his job performance.

Plante was replaced by Gerrish, and the Town Council had originally expected to appoint a permanent manager in January.

After advertising the position in November and receiving only 18 applications, the town decided to reopen the application process in the spring.

Out of 21 applications that the town received in the second round, Mauro was only candidate who was brought back for further interviews.

“It’s discouraging. I think events of the past probably weigh heavily on people’s decision to even apply for a job in Windham,” Maxfield said. 

Gerrish has “done above and beyond for the town,” Maxfield said, but “it’s a Windham problem. This should be a Top 10 job for a town manager position in Maine. We need to send a different message, that there’s change coming to Windham for the better.” 

Gerrish, who is also a municipal consultant with Eaton Peabody, said, “Sometimes it takes more to find somebody than one round. Normally, we’re able to fill the position doing it once.”

In terms of how long Gerrish will remain in his position and when the town will begin the search process once more, “all that’s up in the air and to be determined,” Maxfield said.

The council has scheduled a special meeting on July 16 to discuss the issue.

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