The town of Kennebunk is looking for a new town manager to replace Michael Pardue, who plans to retire in November, and is seeking proposals from executive search firms to aid in the process. Courtesy photo

KENNEBUNK – The town is casting a wide net in its search for a new town manager.

The town is looking for bids and requests for proposals from executive search firms to conduct a national search and other tasks associated with a hiring process.

Town Manager Michael Pardue told a joint meeting of the select board and budget board on Jan. 27 that he intends to retire in November.

According to a request for proposals, “The successful search firm will be responsible for conducting a national search, organizing a community engagement process with the select board, staff, and select citizens to clarify the qualifications, skills, knowledge, abilities and leadership expected of Kennebunk’s next town manager; prepare a job announcement and development recruitment materials; perform preliminary interviews on selected candidates; coordinate any travel arrangements; oversee recruitment process including scheduling, reviewing, and checking qualifications and references of candidates; conduct background checks; and assist in all aspects of selection and hiring.”

Pardue, who began his duties as town manager in December 2016, noted at his January announcement that his contract expires June 30, 2023, but that as a proponent of succession planning, said he felt it was important a new town manager have the opportunity to develop the next municipal budget.

“I will be retiring in early- to mid-November of this calendar year,” Pardue told the boards. “I do that predominately because I think it is very important our community have a new town manager who will have ownership of (the) budget process at the inception of that effort, which as you all know starts in November.”

Pardue has worked in various management capacities for municipalities and private companies for 40 years. In Kennebunk, he was manager of police services for about 18 months and later returned for a stint in human resources before being named town manager when Barry Tibbetts retired.

“I am a resident of this community. What is most important is a smooth, pragmatic, and practical transition,” said Pardue in an interview the day following his retirement announcement.

Proposals for an executive search firm are due May 24.

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