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Chelgren is Finalist for Nahant Job

Wenham Town Administrator Jeff Chelgren is one of three finalists to become the next town administrator in Nahant.

Wenham Town Administrator Jeff Chelgren is a finalist for the same position in Nahant, the Daily Item of Lynn reported on Thursday.

The other two finalists for the Nahant position are Saugus Town Manager Andrew Bisignani and Lancaster Town Administrator Orlando Pacheco.

The announcement comes two days after Town Meeting voters to create an $18,000 “salary compensation fund” that would have given the Board of Selectmen the ability to increase pay for non-union department heads, including Chelgren, to match pay for similar positions in comparable areas towns.

Chelgren makes $93,456. A salary survey conducted in advance on Tuesday’s vote showed that his pay trails similar communities – including Boxford, Hamilton, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Newbury and Topsfield – by more than $10,000.

Nahant advertised pay for the job at $84,200 to $101,800. In Nahant, just like in Wenham, the town administrator works for a three member Board of Selectmen.

Nahant, which sits on a peninsula off of Lynn, has a population of 3,410. The pay of its town administrator was not used in the most recent study conducted in Wenham.

Last December, in his first job performance review in five years, Chelgren received a range of feedback from the Selectmen.

Chairman Molly Martins said at the time that Chelgren sets "incredibly high expectations" for town employees and supports them. She also lauded his ability to constantly be on the lookouyt for the town's well being and image.

Then-Selectrman Harriet Davis said she had concerns about Chelgren's "judgment, agenda and credibility."

Chelgren has worked at since June 10, 2002 and before that was director of land use management and assistant town manager in Westford and a city planner in Nashua, N.H.

When he began, Chelgren replaced Steve Delaney, who held the position for seven years. Chelgren was selected from a pool of 37 applicants and was first paid $69,000, according to a report in The Boston Globe at the time.

Chelgren has a Bachelor's degree from South Dakota State University and a master's degree from the University of Colorado at Denver.

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