Town manager search begins

Seven-member search committee formed
Thu, 11/07/2019 - 7:45pm

The Town of New Shoreham has begun its search for a new town manager. The search began this week with the town disseminating advertising for its interim town manager position. 

The search will involve finding a replacement for Town Manager Ed Roberge, who resigned from the position on Oct. 21. Roberge’s last day will be Dec. 20. Roberge was appointed town manager in September of 2017 and lasted 23 months into a five year contract. The Town Council is seeking an interim town manager to serve until a newly formed seven-member search committee finds a permanent replacement to fill the role. Assistant Town Manager Shirlyne Gobern previously filled that role for nine months prior to Roberge’s arrival.

The Town Council unanimously approved (5-0) the formation of a seven-member search committee, its charge and advertising for the position at its work session on Wednesday. The committee is consolidated from the two search committees that conducted the previous search; one was a town-employee committee and the other a public group.

The committee members are, as announced by First Warden Ken Lacoste at the meeting: Zena Clark, Margie Comings, Doug Michel, Jim Hinthorn, Rob Closter, Mike Shea, and Amy Land. Town Clerk Molly Fitzpatrick and Councilor Chris Willi will attend meetings on behalf of the town.

As part of its charge, the search committee members will be required to keep the search confidential both during and after the search is conducted. Council members acknowledged that the confidentiality charge was not clear during the previous search, and that privileged information about the process had been leaked to the public.

Fitzpatrick noted the confidentiality portion of the 2019 search committee charge while reading the language to the council during the meeting. Included in the charge is that committee members are to attend all search meetings and candidate interviews; maintain confidentiality throughout the process; compose requests for resumes and scope of search for the 45-day advertising period; acknowledge and review all applications; recommend up to 10 candidates, with two or three alternates for first-round interviews; conduct first-round interviews; recommend three or four candidates to be interviewed by the Town Council during a second round of interviews; and meet with the council to discuss the search process as appropriate.

Lacoste read the job description for the interim town manager position, and said the term for that temporary position could be from December 10 to June 10. “That’s a six-month period,” said Lacoste. “It’s up to six months, or until the permanent town manager takes over.” 

Lacoste said if the interim town manager started in December there could be some overlap with Roberge, which would provide for a transition period. 

The Town Council also discussed rental rates for the new modular three-bedroom single-family home installed on the Thomas Property recently. The dwelling was constructed with the intention of housing Roberge. It is designated for a senior town employee, as part of the Thomas Property project.

Roberge provided the council with some rental figures for a similar type property, including what he has paid in rent on the island, which ranged from $2,200 to $2,560 per month. 

Willi said there needs to be policies associated with renting the town’s $559,285 asset, while Second Warden André Boudreau noted that if an interim town manager inhabits the house it will need to be furnished with furniture.

Town Council members stated at a special meeting on Oct. 30 that they would like to have a new full-time town manager in office by June of 2020.

The next Town Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.