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Sullivan pulls name from consideration for town manager

Date: 6/26/2012

June 25, 2012

By Chris Maza

LONGMEADOW — Before the Select Board even had a chance to rule him in or out, town manager candidate Michael Sullivan pulled his name from consideration for the job after taking part in a 90 minute interview.

Sullivan, who is currently the town administrator in Maynard after serving as the mayor of Holyoke for 10 years, told Reminder Publications that he didn't feel he was the right fit for the job for which the Select Board had yet to announce finalists as of press time.

"Anytime someone is considering a change in career, there are two questions I believe that you must ask yourself. The first question many people ask is 'Is it good for me?' In my case there could have been strong arguments made: it was closer to home, the compensation was competitive and it is [a] well organized community, all very appealing," he said.

"The second question is often overlooked and a little more complex — 'Am I right for the community?' After some real soul searching, I decided that I was not right for Longmeadow and that should not imply anything about Longmeadow. It is truly a wonderful place, one of the jewels in the Pioneer Valley," he continued.

Sullivan added that he is happy with his current position, despite the fact that it is a sizeable distance from his home.

"I do miss Western Massachusetts. There is not a more beautiful place in New England [and] I appreciate that more than ever," he said. "I still live in Holyoke and always will, but I am here in the Assabet Valley most days and nights. We are doing a lot of exciting things in Maynard and I work for an incredible Board of Selectmen. It is such a great learning experience for me. I am truly blessed."

Sullivan said he still believed Longmeadow to be one of the premier towns in Western Massachusetts and that the efforts of outgoing Town Manager Robin Crosbie are a major reason for that.

"As I stated in my interview, Longmeadow is a well regarded and [a] well organized community," he said. "The next town manager will have big shoes to fill as Ms. Crosbie heads to her new post in Ipswich. Her work in Longmeadow is laudable and has put the town on very firm footing."

Sullivan praised the Select Board for conducting a thorough and professional process for finding their next town manager.

"The [Select Board] likely came to the same conclusion about me being a good fit, and was professional in all respects to this process, including my withdrawal," he said. "They have put an enormous amount of effort, time and contemplation into this endeavor. If I were them and someone pulled out I may not have been nearly as gracious.

"I hope they have found the right person to be the town manager and that person will be very lucky indeed," he added.

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