After a screening committee tasked with reviewing and narrowing applications for the new county manager position told county commissioners they would not proceed with applications received thus far — and asked the commissioners to readvertise the position — the commissioners last week took over the search themselves.

By yesterday, the search had narrowed to three finalists.

In their regular meeting last week, the commissioners decided in executive session not to readvertize the position. They reduced an original pool of 12 applicants to five finalists.

“The five are more than adequately qualified,” commission chairman Paul Strauss said in a telephone interview following that meeting.

One of the five is from the Vineyard and all are from Massachusetts, he said. Of the five, he said, all have bachelor’s degrees and some have master’s degrees. Among the finalists are current or former town selectmen and current or former county executives. At the meeting, the commissioners set a Nov. 10 date to interview candidates.

In their regular meeting Wednesday, the commissioners said they would require all applicants be interviewed in person. The commissioners will not reimburse applicants for travel expenses and will do all reference and background checks on the finalists following the Nov. 10 interviews. Finalists will have to bring proof of their educational qualifications with them to the interviews, commissioners agreed.

Prior to their meeting this past Wednesday, commissioners notified each of the five of their status as finalists. As of press time yesterday, two of the finalists had dropped out, narrowing the pool to three.

The commissioners plan to release the names of the finalists once the remaining three have confirmed the interview date.

In other business, the commissioners signed a letter thanking the screening committee for their effort.

They also discussed whether new business cards for the county commissioners should be embossed or flat.

“We do not get paid for this job,” said commissioner Roger Wey, who weighed in on the side of embossed cards. “This is one perk we get.”

The flat cards cost $30 to reorder, the embossed cards $65. The commissioners decided to reorder the flat cards.

The next meeting of the county commissioners will take place at 5 p.m. Nov. 14 at the county administration building.