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Selectmen assemble town administrator search committee

Date: 8/27/2014

WILBRAHAM – The Board of Selectmen appointed six new members to various boards and committees at its Aug. 16 meeting, which also featured the formation of a search committee to hire a new town administrator.

The current Town Administrator Robert Weitz is anticipated to retire sometime in the fall and the search committee, comprised of nine people, will find a suitable replacement.

The nine people on the search committee include Police Chief Roger Tucker, Wilbraham-Hampden Regional School Committee Chair Marc Ducey, Assistant Town Administrator Thomas Sullivan, Town Clerk Beverly Litchfield, Administrative Assistant Candace Ouillette Gaumond, former Selectmen Patrick Brady, Human Resources Coordinator Herta Dane, Daniel Miles, vice-chair of the Finance Committee, and Department of Public Works Assistant Director Tonya Basch.

The search committee will likely bring the three top candidates for the position to the Board of Selectmen for interviews, Selectman Susan Bunnell said.

Camie Lamica and Mark Manolakis were both accepted to the Personnel Board. Lamica’s term is for three years and Manolakis’ term is for one year.

“I am currently a senior at Western New England University,” Manolakis said. “I am a marketing major and economics minor. I have lived in Wilbraham basically my whole life.”

William Caruana, who is chair of the Broadband Advisory Committee, was appointed to a three-year term on the Finance Committee.

“I absolutely love this community and I found that this would actually be a really good fit because I don’t want to just focus on broadband only,” Caruana said. “I like to focus on the entire picture and that’s what I think the Finance Committee does. It looks at the entire town as a whole.”

Caruana said he may step down as chairman of the Broadband Advisory Committee but he will still be an active participant in the committee.

Mary Manning was also appointed to the Cultural Council with a term of three years.

“I just feel like I would like to give something back to the town if I can,” Manning said.

For the Ambulance Oversight Committee, Heather Mullen was appointed for a three-year term. Mullen stated that she has experience as an emergency medical technician (EMT) paramedic.

“Actually, the idea of having someone who is already trained as an EMT paramedic is a great addition to the board, “Bunnell said. “I don’t know that there are other members other than members of the department who are.”

One of the uncommon appointments that the members of the Board of Selectmen stated as such was the position of fence viewer, which was appointed to David Sanders for a one-year period.

“Essentially it’s looking at a fence or if you have shared property line owners and there’s a fence and there’s some kind of discussion or an agreement on where the fence goes, whose going to share the cost? And those types of things,” Sanders stated.

During the citizens' open forum, Bob Grove, a resident of Merrill Road, said the detailed conversations and minutes of meetings are not regularly posted on the town’s website for several committees and boards.

“You know, you go to the [Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School Committee], that’s half of the town’s budget,” he said. “I see no detailed conversations and minutes of their meetings. I see nothing from the Broadband Committee. I see nothing from the Capital Planning.

“It makes it difficult for me to engage with the town as a citizen who wants to become more active in Wilbraham when I start from a position of not knowing,” Grove added.

Administrative Assistant Candace Ouillette Gaumond suggested the possibility of a training evening for committees and boards on detailing minutes for posting.

The Board of Selectmen stated that they found the idea valid and will look into a possible training event.