Saugus Selectman Peter Manoogian, a member of the screening committee, agrees. "It's the economy and the election" bringing in so many applicants this time, he said. The field in Saugus has been pared to nine, including resident Ed Collins, a deputy commissioner for the state Department of Revenue, former Southbridge town manager Donald Jacobs, Methuen town manager Michael McLaughlin and Lynn City Councilor Patrick McManus. Salisbury's field includes administrators, bankers and lawyers.
There is a wide range of salaries for chief executives of the eight towns in the North Weekly region that have a manager or secretary, from $35,700 in Boxford to $80,000 for Danvers town manager Wayne Marquis. The other communities are Amesbury, Ipswich, Lynnfield, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Middleton and Salisbury. There are 12 cities in the 37-community area, and the other 17 towns rely on the board of selectmen or other form of management, such as an administrative assistant.
While Saugus has had 27 managers since going to the town manager form of government 43 years ago, some communities have shown stability, such as Danvers, where Marquis has been town manager since 1979. The managers with the longest tenure are Ward Carter, who has served Weston in that post for 40 years, and Don Marquis, who has held the position since 1966 in Arlington.