Town Sets Tight Deadline for TA Search

            The Mattapoisett Town Administrator Search Committee hopes to present the Board of Selectmen with finalists for the town administrator position by its January 21 meeting with the hope that the Board will choose its new town administrator before January’s end.

            After an unsuccessful search on its own, the search committee hired municipal employee recruiter Bernie Lynch and worked with him to refine the search and assist in finding the best candidates out there. Now the town has bumped its salary range up to $135,000 rather than $125,000 and has reconsidered what the ideal candidate should have to offer.

            “We’re ready to advertise,” Lynch told the committee on December 6. “But what we need to talk about is the schedule more than anything else.”

            Lynch said he would post the ad that morning on the websites for the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and has extended the search to all the neighboring New England states.

            According to Lynch, he has already spoken to a number of people who have expressed an interest in the position and may apply.

            Two other towns – Pembroke and Hopedale – are looking for a town administrator at the same time as Mattapoisett, Lynch said, and the committee asked some questions about the competition’s salary range and population.

            Mattapoisett’s ad will run for four weeks, although this time of year is a challenge for municipalities seeking to fill a position as important as a town administrator. The holidays, Lynch said, will “put a squeeze” on the committee, but Lynch was optimistic that it could stick to a tight schedule to get the new town administrator into his or her office as soon as possible.

            Lynch set January 3 as the deadline to apply, and set January 13 as an interview day for the first round of finalists.

            He expects to receive roughly 30 resumes in all, and Lynch will categorize them into three tiers: top, bottom, and middle. Six or seven will make that preliminary cut, he said.

            The goal of hiring a new town administrator by the end of January, Lynch told the committee, “It’s conceivable – it’s a stretch – but to meet the [Board of Selectmen’s] goal we could potentially come to them on [January 21] with finalists.”

            That date is still tentative at this time, depending on the availability of the selectmen to hold a meeting.

            “So that’s where we stand,” Lynch said. “We’ve got the key dates and the go-ahead.” However, he acknowledged, “With the holidays, we may not get people applying because they may not be focused on looking for a job right now.”

            He was optimistic, however, that should any promising candidates apply, he would keep them well-informed throughout the process in order to keep them interested.

            The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Town Administrator Search Committee is an executive session to review resumes scheduled for January 6 at 2:00 pm at the Mattapoisett Town Hall.

            The committee scheduled January 13 at 9:00 am to hold interviews at the Town Hall.

Mattapoisett Town Administrator Search Committee

By Jean Perry

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