AMESBURY — A replay of the 2013 city election has cropped up as former mayors Thatcher Kezer and Ken Gray are both among four finalists for the job of Dracut town manager.
According to The Sun of Lowell, Kezer and Gray are among four finalists up for the town manager position, along with Southbridge Town Manager Ron San Angelo and Groton Town Manager Mark Haddad.
Kezer served as Amesbury mayor from 2006-13, when he lost his bid for reelection to Gray by three votes. Gray was the city’s chief executive for three, two-year terms but was defeated by Mayor Kassandra Gove in last fall’s municipal election.
Kezer, a retired Massachusetts Air National Guard lieutenant colonel, has been working as the chief operating officer in the city of Framingham since March 2018. He had previously worked as a senior vice president for MassDevelopment.
Gray is the founder and former president and CEO of Haverhill-based Northwave Technology, Inc.
The Sun also reported that a five-member screening committee has been reviewing applicants for the town manager position in the community of 31,000, about twice the population of Amesbury.
Dracut’s most recent town manager, Jim Duggan, abruptly resigned after he faced public scrutiny for his handling of town purchasing in October, the newspaper reported. Duggan was being paid more than $174,000 per year.
Dracut Interim Town Manager Ann Vandal had worked as assistant town manager and chief financial officer under Duggan and applied to take over the position on a permanent basis, but is not among the finalists.
Kezer did not return a call for comment on Friday, but Gray said in an email that he was proud to be a finalist.
“I think I have a lot to offer them,” Gray wrote. “I’m a pragmatic problem solver who brings a strong skill set along with management and leadership experience from both the public and private sectors. During my career I have developed a private sector sense of urgency and a public sector sense of community.”
Gray also said he was proud of his record in Amesbury “which was achieved by setting goals, developing plans and successfully executing them.”
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.