PRIME Editor/Staff Writer
WILBRAHAM The Board of Selectmen will begin planning for the replacement of Town Administrator William Fogarty at their Dec. 4 meeting.
Fogarty has accepted a position as Vice President of Administration and Finance for Holyoke Community College, and will leave his position with the town in early January 2007.
News of his resignation was made public at the Nov. 27 meeting of the Board of Selectmen.
"The first thing we have to figure out is who is going to take over Bill's responsibilities when he leaves in January," Board of Selectman Chairman David Barry told Reminder Publicaitons during a telephone interview about Fogarty's resignation. "We won't have anyone in place [by that time]. We expect to begin our search at the same time Bill leaves."
Barry said that the Board has already discussed with Fogarty and Assistant Town Administrator, Wendy Foxmyn, the possibility of filling the position with a part-time, temporary Town Administrator. He said this type of approach to a vacancy in in the town administrator position is not unusual.
"Wendy herself was a temporary town manager in Longmeadow a few years ago," Barry said. "We had some brief discussions with both Bill and Wendy and [hiring someone on a temporary basis] seems to be one of the viable options."
He also said the Board has had a preliminary discussion about how to conduct the search for a new Town Administrator.
"One of the questions we need to decide is, are we going to bring in an outside consulting service [to conduct the search] or do we do it ourselves through a search committee " Barry said.
And regardless of which approach the Board chooses, Barry acknowledged that replacing Fogarty, who has been with the town as its Administrator for 15 years, will take time.
"From when we first announce that we are looking for someone to when we begin screening candidates, doing background checks, narrowing it down to a few candidates can take months," Barry said.
But even when the search mechanism is in place, Barry said it will be hard replacing Fogarty.
"It's going to be tough without him. He's been a very dedicated, very professional [Town Administrator]," Barry said. "He really is a top-notch guy. He has strong skills in budgeting and finance. [HCC] got themselves a strong individual for the position they are filling."