Of the 26 qualified candidates who applied for Bedford's vacant town manager position, Municipal Resources, Inc., the firm charged with the search, has narrowed the list to seven.
Each of the seven Bedford Town Council members will now review each application and individually rank those final candidates and submit their opinions to MRI, which will combine the councilors' rankings on a spreadsheet and add its own ranking, in addition to the rankings of an independent panel of current and former town managers.
Town Council Chairman Bill Dermody said he hopes to have the spreadsheet by this Wednesday night, where he and other councilors will meet in a non-public session to discuss the findings and select the top three candidates to bring in for interviews on July 26. Much like the narrowing process, each finalist will meet with three panels (Bedford Town Council, Bedford department heads, and an MRI-selected group of current and former town managers). Dermody said the council will embrace the opinions of the other two panels and make its selection from there. If all goes well, negotiations will proceed shortly thereafter.
Should none of the three finalists prove agreeable to the council, Dermody said the other three or four candidates may be brought back for interviews.
"We're excited to be back to the quarterfinals of this process, if you will," said Dermody. "I think we have some very qualified people here, several of which I'm sure would be a great asset to the town."
Though the council requested six finalists, Dermody said MRI offered an additional two qualified candidates for consideration. Both were accepted, but one has since found another position and removed himself from consideration.
Dermody said all finalists will be once again reminded of the town's current prior to interviews.
None of the remaining applicants are from Bedford, said Dermody, though he noted a couple candidates reside out of state.
Additional costs associated with relocation and the amount of resignation notice required for each candidate will be taken into consideration, said Dermody, though neither issue will be a disqualifier should an applicants other attributes and experience outweigh his or her peers.