After a lengthy search, Gardner City Council members unanimously agreed to start negotiations to hire Cheryl Harrison-Lee as city administrator.
If she accepts the position, Harrison-Lee will replace Stewart Fairburn, who left more than a year ago for a position in Chickasaw, Okla.
Initially, city officials hoped to hire a new city administrator last spring. However, two of three finalists last year for the position withdrew from the hiring process, and council opted to put the search for a new administrator on hold. In the interim, they hired Mike Press to serve as a consultant.
Assistant city administrator Melissa Mundt announced last month that her last day with the city will be May 23. Council members have not decided when or how they will replace Mundt.
Press’s contract as interim city administrator is set to expire before the end of the summer.