Economic development post remains vacant

Much to the chagrin of city officials and members of the business community, the man chosen to take the helm of Nashua’s economic development agency has turned down the offer.

The candidate, who was working as an economic development director in another New England city, turned down the job because the pay was too low, Mayor Donnalee Lozeau told the Nashua Telegraph.

“I’m very disappointed,” Lozeau said.

The job, which paid in the low- to mid-$80,000s, came with a salary that was lower than his current pay, Lozeau said.

Nashua has been without an economic development director for about a year, after the city’s former director, Jay Minkarah, left to take a similar position pay in Manchester.

Nashua’s economic development director would be the city’s point person in recruiting new companies to come to the city. The director also could help Nashua business owners expand and navigate the process of getting needed city zoning approval and building permits.

The candidate who turned down the job was one of four who had been brought in for a second round of interviews. Two of the others were from Ohio, and one was local, Lozeau said.

She said the job won’t be offered to any of the other candidates the city has already interviewed.

Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce officials had scheduled a May 22 forum for business owners and other professionals to meet the new director. Now, the city’s chances of having the job filled by then are slim, Lozeau said.

“The job is so important, and we’ve waited so long,” Lozeau said. “We have to have it right. We have to hire the right person.”

The job will be re-advertised, and the interview team will pore through applications that have come in since the last round of interviews, Lozeau said.

Meanwhile, the city has hired Mike Gilbar as its new chief financial officer, replacing Carol Anderson, who has retired.

Gilbar, who begins work May 12, now works as CFO of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.