Reading Town Manager Search Process Continues

Also: Four town bodies to discuss upcoming projects that would affect taxpayers.

A second company has sent the town an overview of the services it could offer to help town officials hire a new town manager – and the price.

The town’s first town manager, with tenure of 26 years, Peter Hechenbleikner, will retire this coming June 1.

The selectmen plan to hire a new town manager by this coming March, to give time negotiate a contract with the chosen candidate. They expect the new town manager to start in mid-May.

Municipal Resources, Inc., emailed the four-page document to Carol Roberts, the town’s human resources administrator. The Board of Selectmen met Tuesday specifically to talk about the town manager search. The selectmen wanted to meet with a representative of MRI by this past Tuesday night.

A representative of another organization, Stephen McGoldrick of the Edward J. Collins Center for Public Management at UMass, Boston, spoke with the selectmen at their previous special meeting about what the center could offer the town in its administrator search.

Both firms could develop a profile of the community, its challenges and what the town is looking for in a new town leader and search for and screen candidates.

The price of their services?  Both firms would charge in the $16,000 to $18,000 range for full recruitment services.

McGoldrick has yet to submit a proposal. It should come by the end of this week.

Procedurally, the town will have to request proposals and solicit bids to hire a consultant, according to Roberts.

During their 50-minute meeting, the selectmen also began to suggest who should be interviewed to help develop the community and candidate profile and who should sit on the screening committee. School Superintendent John Doherty is interested in participating, according to the discussion.

The selectmen are considering involving the following people in the profile development:  all five selectmen, individually; town department heads; the Finance Committee chairman; Doherty and possibly the School Committee. McGoldrick would want to interview them in two days.

Members of the public could be invited to express what they want in a new town manager, the selectmen said.

The screening committee might consist of two selectmen; Doherty; the Finance Committee chairman; a department head; the public and maybe a School Committee member.

Taxpayer Impact of Three Upcoming Town Projects to be discussed Wednesday

The Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Finance Committee and Library Board of Trustees will meet together this coming Wednesday, Oct. 10, to discuss budget and town money issues.

Three projects are expected to reach into taxpayers’ wallets in the next few years:  the library modernization, a Killam School update and the impact of starting full-day kindergarten here as well as an existing elementary school space squeeze.

The financial forum will be held at the Senior Center. It will start at 7 p.m.


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