Tele-talk responses: Should selectmen spend time looking internally to replace the town manager?

There were six responses to this week’s Tele-Talk question: “Should selectmen spend time looking internally to replace the town manager?” Two said selectmen should consider hiring from within; three said they should expand the search.

Of course the board of selectment should look internally before going outside. It seems to me that in Paul D. and Tom Holmes, we have two people who could hit the road running. This would be somewhat less expensive, far more efficient, timely and good for overall morale. Just do it! Ted Sares, North Conway.

Yes, the selectmen should look internally for a town manager, and they can stop looking when they get to Tom Holmes. I don’t know if Mr. Holmes is even interested in the job, but if he is, I hope the selectmen will pick him. As a former budget committee member, former school board member, former selectman, and now Conway Fire District Commissioner, I have had the opportunity to work closely with Tom Holmes. He’s brilliant, he understands the community and he would do an excellent job. Michael DiGregorio, Conway.

While it would be appropriate to have a town manager familiar with the town’s current issues, it might be even more appropriate to have some “fresh blood” in the position to ride herd over those who’ve created them. One thing we do not need (for sure) is someone whose solutions to the world’s problems falls under the heading of “roundabout.” Our town “engineer” need not be considered for the position.

Selectmen have an obligation to the taxpayers of Conway to find the most qualified candidate available for the position of town manager. Qualified internal candidates should be invited to apply as well as candidates from the outside. To have a time period when selectmen look only at internal candidates gives the impression the “fix is in.” It is also unfair to any internal candidate, who may indeed be the best qualified person for the job. The Town of Conway has been very fortunate to have a town manager of the caliber of Earl Sires. The taxpayers deserve a search for the very best replacement possible. Anything less is unfair to the taxpayers and unwise on the part of the selectmen.

First of all, I think that it would be important to open the field up to anybody for being the town manager as opposed to someone just in-house. I think we owe it to the community to have various people present their cases. They could have fresh ideas. One of the things that never talked about in town is sustainable tourism, which means there’s only so much carrying capacity of what you can do for hotels and restaurants and the like. And planning and zoning should really reflect the long-range plan for that, ie., Native Americans say seven generations of planning, but we might be happy with three generations of planning. And someone should be a physical planner rather than have a background in social studies, and we do need a physical planner because some of the site planning that has been done has been pretty outrageous. There needs to be some long-term planning to keep the valley beautiful and not too cluttered. You really need someone with a real planning background. This is a citizen of North Conway.

The last man did an excellent job. The only problem I had with him is that he had very little common sense about about the ways of the Mount Washington Valley. Please keep that in mind when you’re making your decision, whether you hire somebody internally or you bring somebody in from the outside.