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Wilbraham town administrator advertisement posted

Date: 11/20/2014

WILBRAHAM – The University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management recently completed its final profile for an advertisement in the search for a new town administrator.

The advertisement was sent out on Nov. 13 for publication and will be featured on the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s website,, in all Turley Publications newspapers, and in the Nov. 16 issue of the Sunday Republican, according to an email from Human Resources Coordinator Herta Dane to members of the Town Administrator Search Committee.

Thomas Sullivan, assistant town administrator for budget and finance, who was appointed interim town administrator by the Board of Selectmen, said the board approved $7,000 in funding for the first two steps in the search process – the final profile and a job description.

“Basically, the last step, if we want to proceed with that, they will do the vetting process for us, so they will do the background checks and everything else with the candidates, which is a good possibility that we will have them do also,” he added.

Sullivan said the board signed a contract with the Collins Center part for all the steps in the search process. However, the board will determine whether to have to have the Collins Center complete the last step for an additional $7,000 before candidate interviews begin.

The deadline for applications for the town administrator position is Dec. 19, Dane stated.

Sullivan said a new town administrator must be aware of several ongoing potential construction projects including a new police station, senior center, and regionalized middle school.

The ideal candidate would have at least seven years of executive managerial experience, he added. The town is also seeking a town administrator willing to provide leadership, manage, direct, or facilitate municipal services, and commit to multi-year in terms of strategic planning for their tenure.

The development of a town-wide fiber optic network is another topic of discussion within the town that a candidate would have to be knowledgeable of, Sullivan explained.

Robert Weitz, the former town administrator, was in the position for more than seven years until he retired on Nov. 3, he said. William Fogarty, the town administrator before Weitz, held the position for more than a decade.

The fiscal year 2015 salary range on Grade 8 of the town’s compensation plan is $84,881 to $118,832 for the position, according to the final profile.

“I think it’s a competitive salary that we’ll attract good candidates with,” he added.

Sullivan said since he was appointed interim town administrator he has been working with the accounting and assessing department to set the tax rate.

“We have one final step to go in the process,” he added. “There’s a tax classification hearing on Nov. 24 and once that’s done we should have our tax rates shortly after that.”

Sullivan said he also visited three sites where the Department of Public Works (DPW) has completed projects, including the construction of an additional salt shed, a double guard rail on Monson Road, and overgrown wood clearings and drainage near Brewer Pond.

Candidate interviews would likely begin after Jan. 1, Sullivan noted.

“There’s no deadline, I know that one of the selectmen had said he wanted us to be careful and not rush,” he added. “We’re going to take the recommendations of the [Collins Center] and then if there’s anybody else that the committee wants to include we’ll then look at the applications and then narrow it down to five or six people.”

After that point, the board would likely interview a minimum of four candidates, Sullivan explained.