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City manager finalist already had job offer while seeking Bainbridge post

One of the three finalists for city manager for Bainbridge Island has had a job offer pending in the town of Longmeadow, Mass. while she sought the top job at Bainbridge Island City Hall.

Bainbridge officials announced last week the three finalists for city manager. The candidates are Douglas Schulze, the city manager of the city of Normandy Park since 2006; Mark Hoppen, a former city administrator for Gig Harbor; and Bonnie Therrien, the interim town manager of North Branford, Conn.

Therrien was the last of the three finalists to apply for the job of Bainbridge Island city manager, according to application letters submitted to the city. She submitted a resume and letter of interest on July 13.

But records released by the city this week show Therrien has been looking for a new job beyond Bainbridge in recent weeks.

Bainbridge council members have been given a media packet on each of the three finalists which include news reports and articles on the candidates, and Therrien's 32-page packet shows she was selected by the town of Longmeadow to be its next city manager on Aug. 17.

According to an Aug. 20 story posted on www.masslive.com, Therrien was the unanimous pick of the town's select board for the position. Therrien was one of 33 applicants for the job, which would pay a salary between $115,000 to $135,000.

According to minutes of the town of Longmeadow's select board, currently posted on Longmeadow's website, Therrien was due to visit Longmeadow on Monday, Aug. 27.

The board also met in a special meeting Aug. 27 for an executive session to talk about contract negotiations.

In a Sept. 4 article in The Reminder, in East Longmeadow, Mass., the newspaper recounted Therrien's visit on Aug. 27 as negotiations on her contract continued.

"We've been at this for a week or just over, so as you can imagine this is coming down to just one or two items we're working on as part of the overall contract negotiation," Longmeadow Selectman Mark Gold told the Reminder.

Attempts to reach Longmeadow officials for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.

The work to find a new city manager on Bainbridge intensifies this week.

The three candidates for the job of Bainbridge Island city manager will participate in a meet-and-greet tonight with Bainbridge Island residents at city hall. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.

The city council will interview the three finalists in a closed-door meeting Wednesday at city hall. The meeting starts at 4:30 p.m. and is expected to adjourn at 10 p.m., although the council will open the session to the public at 9:30 p.m. to talk about the hiring process.

City officials may make a decision on hiring the next city manager and extend a job offer on Sept. 26.

The city already has a preliminary draft contract that will serve as a starting point for negotiations with the next city manager. City Attorney Will Patton is currently going over the nuts and bolts of the contract.

The city manager's post is currently vacant after the council fired former city manager Brenda Bauer in March. Morgan Smith has been filling in as interim city manager since Bauer's departure. Bauer earned an annual salary of approximately $150,000.

Bainbridge expects to have a new city manager on board by Nov. 29.

 

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