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Eighteen apply to be Southampton town administrator

Select Board Chairman Michael L. Phelan Jr. said Thursday night, the final day to apply, that the pile of applications delivered to his Jeanne Circle home was a “good pool.”

“It’s larger than I thought it would be,” he said. The applications were sent to his home instead of to the office of the town administrator “to eliminate any perception of impropriety” because Interim Town Administrator Regina Shea-Sullivan said she planned to apply.

Shea-Sullivan has been filling the role for over 1½ years since former Town Administrator Diana Schindler left in July 2011. Schindler was the town’s first full-time administrator when she took the job in 2007.

The position was advertised for six weeks starting Jan. 21 with a salary range of $52,000 to $62,000.

The next step is for the Select Board to appoint a screening committee, which is likely to include at least board members Edward J. Cauley and Jacqueline M. Sears.

Cauley said he hopes the committee will present a shortened list of candidates by the end of the month.

“We’re going to look for candidates that obviously don’t meet the criteria (to cull out) and suggest candidates to the board,” he said.

Phelan said the Select Board would discuss the screening committee its Tuesday meeting, as well as how to handle the rest of the process, from narrowing the list to interviewing finalists.

The board will also decide what, if any, special steps need to be taken if Shea-Sullivan is a candidate before the board while also serving as clerk at its meetings, he said.

Phelan said he believes it would be permissible for Shea-Sullivan to clerk for the Select Board while it discusses candidates in open session, but not if it enters executive session.

Both Phelan and Cauley declined to say when they expect to be able to fill the position.

“I’m pleased this is moving forward. It’s long overdue,” Cauley said of the search.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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