The next superintendent for Mendham Borough will most likely be a newcomer and not a schools chief with experience, according to consultant Richard Marasco.
Marasco, who spoke to residents at last week's information session at the Hilltop School, was there representing Leadership Advantage. Marasco's firm is the same consulting group that helped install Sal Constantino in Mendham Township over the summer.
"My goal here tonight is to learn about Mendham Borough and what you want in a superintendent," Marasco said. "I have done about 80 of these in New Jersey."
In Mendham Borough, district is looking for a permanent superintendent to replace Janie Edmonds who retired in June. Former Chester Superintendent Dr. Thomas Butler has been leading the district since July on an interim basis.
The issue has been a hot topic in Mendham Borough, as last month a Mendham Borough resident accused the school of being unable to attract a solid candidate for superintendent.
According to Marasco, the capping of the salaries of superintendents has made the liklihood of a candidate with experience slim.
"Based on my experience the salary caps have caused the movement of people out. They have enough time in to take a pension," Marasco said. "I don’t think you are going to see sitting superintendents unless they are in trouble. No one is going to make a lateral move. I don’t think you are going to get people jumping like they did in the past because there is no incentive out there like there was."
Marasco stressed that while candidates with experience were unlikely, that didn't mean qualified people were not out there.
"I think there are some great people out there. Its about leadership at the end of the day," Marasco said. "For someone who has good interpersonal communication skills and a strength in elementary education the nuances of a superintendent are easily learned."
And although the market has changed, Marasco stressed that with two well run schools in a good community, finding candidates wouldn't be a problem.
"I think those people are clearly out there," Marasco said. "I’ve spoken to seven or eight young principals."
Marasco is expected to present his list of seven to 10 candidates to the Mendham Borough Board of Education at their Dec. 13 meeting.