The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, August 14, 2009

Three finalists named for Town Administrator

On August 11 the Town Administrator Search Committee presented the names of the three candidates for the position to be vacated by the retirement of Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie on September 30. Brian Connolly, School Business Administrator for Walpole, Timothy Goddard, Assistant Town Manager in Framingham, and Jeff Ritter, Interim Municipal Administrator for the Town of Bridgewater will now be interviewed by the Board of Selectmen (BOS) in televised public meetings. It is hoped a selection can be made by early September.

Selectman John Williams noted that members of the search board, including himself, Selectman Tim Hult, David Reed, Treasurer Larry Barton, Laurel Ostram of the Personnel Board, and Deb Belanger first met July 9, and were surprised to discover over 50 applications had been submitted.

In the next days, every member of the committee read all applications townspeople, town employees, boards and committees, and from McKenzie herself. Twelve candidates were invited for interviews, after which six were called back for second interviews. The field was then narrowed to the three presented Tuesday to the BOS.

Hult noted the three candidates are quite different. Connolly, a resident of Medford, has previously held positions as Director of Finance for the town of Braintree, and Town Administrator for the town of Charlton. He had demonstrated capabilities in finance, labor negotiation, purchasing, and personnel management. His education includes a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from Suffolk. University and a BA in Economics from The University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Goddard is a resident of Littleton and was previously the Littleton Town Administrator for nine years. In his current Framingham position, he is the collective bargaining manager for eight units, the chief procurement officer and holds responsibility for 18 public buildings. His education includes a Graduate Fellowship in Public Administration from The University of Massachusetts Amherst and a BA in history cum laude from the same school.

Ritter is a resident of Medway with both government and public sector experience. He holds an interim position in Bridgewater, which is migrating to a Town Manager form of government. Previously he held positions as Interim Town Manager in Groton, Executive Secretary (CEO) for Wayland, and Town Administrator for the town of Blackstone. He has also managed an international economic consulting firm. He holds a BA in history and government from American University and is pursuing a MPA degree at Framingham State.

Selectman Bill Tice noted the candidates appeared “very qualified” and asked what criteria were used to evaluate on earlier rounds. Williams noted that experience in town administration, knowledge of Massachusetts laws and procurement, good communications skills, and evidence of teamwork were considered when perusing resumes. During interviews, the search committee also valued signs of integrity. Hult noted that Ostram, who is a human resources director at a large company, provided a useful framework for judging candidates on various criteria.

Mike Hanauer of Long Ridge Road noted that value should be placed on finding someone who will stay awhile and become familiar with Carlisle’s ways. Someone looking for a career steppingstone “would not serve us well,” he added. Williams noted that all candidates had been asked pointed questions about why they wanted to work in Carlisle. In addition, the search team looked for evidence of experience and longevity in small town environments

Tim Hult thanked the search committee members, adding, “ This is one of the best interacting teams I’ve worked on.” Williams agreed the group worked well together and accomplished a lot in a short time. “I’m very confident we’ll end up with a good Town Administrator,” he said.

Resumés of the three candidates are available to the public at Town Hall. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito