Martinelli Field Dedication

Town manager William Keegan addresses coach Jack Martinelli during dedication ceremonies of the Ahern School athletic field Sunday, in Foxboro.

Weeks after clashing with the advisory committee over budget cuts, Town Manager William Keegan has emerged as a finalist for the same job in Dedham, a town he once worked for.

Keegan is being considered for the vacant Dedham job by that town’s selectmen. The other finalists are Melissa Goff, an assistant administrator in Brookline, and Leon Goodwin, a U.S. State Department employee who was once the administrator in Salem.

Dedham is expected to hold site visits and interviews before making a decision in late August.

Keegan came to Foxboro from Dedham in 2014. Before that he served in Seekonk from 1997 to 2002. He could not be reached for comment.

Selectmen Chairman Mark Elfman said he is aware that Keegan was a candidate for the Dedham job.

He said he could not speak for Keegan, but believes hard feelings from town meeting budget controversies may have played a role in Keegan looking elsewhere.

Keegan had clashed with the advisory committee over the budget and the board convinced town meeting to cut $26,000 from a salary account for Keegan and assistant administrator Michael Johns.

Keegan accused the board of making the cuts for personal reasons.

“The whole town meeting thing struck a chord with Bill and there was some frustration there,” Elfman said.

He said it would be a disappointment if Keegan left Foxboro, but he understood.

“I’ve been more than pleased with Bill. It would be a huge loss if he left. Absolutely, no doubt,” Elfman said, adding later, “I want the best for Bill, but I want him to stay.”

Just last month the board of selectmen gave Keegan a positive job evaluation and a raise.

Selectmen were generous in their praise of his abilities and said he brought the town through a rough year.

Jim Hand may be reached at 508-236-0399 or jhand@thesunchronicle.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TSCpolitics.