People come and go from the Grand Auditorium on Main Street in downtown Ellsworth in this October 2018 photo. The finalist the city of Ellsworth wanted to hire for its new manager has withdrawn from consideration for the job. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

A man whom Ellsworth city officials had decided they wanted to hire as the new city manager has decided he does not want the job.

The city had begun negotiating an employment contract with the candidate, who has not been identified publicly, when it found out on Friday that he had decided to withdraw his name from consideration, Dale Hamilton, chairman of the City Council, said Monday.

With the candidate deciding not to accept the position, the city will start over and re-advertise for a new city manager, Hamilton said. With Christmas less than two weeks away, the city will wait until after Jan. 1 to solicit more applications, he said.

“This puts us back at the beginning,” Hamilton said. “It wouldn’t make sense to advertise now.”

The city has been looking for a replacement for David Cole, who said in mid-August that he had decided to retire. Glenn Moshier, the city’s police chief, has been serving as interim city manager since Labor Day.

Hamilton said that 18 people had applied for the job this fall and that five of them were identified as potential hires. Of those, two dropped out before they were interviewed, while three others were interviewed. One of those three was the city’s preferred choice, but he dropped out of consideration on Friday.

Hamilton said that he hopes that the city can interview more people for the job by the end of January. He said that he expects it would take a “similar” amount of time — around four months — to find another finalist whom the city will want to hire.

Moshier will continue as interim manager until a new city manager is hired, Hamilton said.

“He’s prepared to stay in that position for as long as needed,” he said.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....