LOWELL -- The City Council voted 5-4 Tuesday night to request that City Manager Bernie Lynch consider extending his time in the city past his planned March 10 resignation date so that he can assist with the budget-development process.

Voting in favor of the request were Councilors James Milinazzo, Ed Kennedy, Bill Martin, John Leahy and William Samaras.

Those voting in opposition were Mayor Rodney Elliott and Councilors Corey Belanger, Rita Mercier and Dan Rourke.

Lynch said he wants to discuss the conditions under which he would stay in an executive session next week. The next fiscal year starts July 1 and the council typically approves a budget in June.

Elliott proposed the council ask Lynch to stay until April 15, but only he and Belanger supported to the amendment of the request originally made by Milinazzo.

Earlier in the evening, the City Council started the search for Lynch's replacement during a special meeting.

The council plans to finalize the job description for the position at another special meeting next Tuesday at 5 p.m.

The final description will be part of an advertisement for the job that will be used starting later this month. The council plans to note Lynch's current salary in the posting -- $180,000 -- and say the salary is negotiable.

The council plans to advertise the position for four weeks and have an application deadline of Feb. 28.


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