Town Council Approves $25,000 To Hire Search Firm For Town Manager

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By: Laura M. Reckford
Published: 04/27/12

The Barnstable Town Council voted last night to appropriate $25,000 to hire a consultant to help with the search for a permanent town manager.

Thomas K. Lynch, the former assistant town manager, has been serving as Acting Town Manager since December.

One town councilor voted against the appropriation, saying the town should save the money and have Mr. Lynch continue at the helm.

Town Councilor Thomas R. Rugo of Centerville said that over the past several months, the acting town manager has been doing an excellent job. He urged his fellow town councilors, those who voted against a nationwide search, to vote against the appropriation, because a split vote would kill the measure.

He pointed out that in 18 months, all town councilors will be up for reelection because of precinct map changes. A number of town councilors now on the board have only four months experience, he said, with the implication that the election could leave the town with an inexperienced board.

But Deborah S. Dagwan of Hyannis, who has been serving on the town manager search subcommittee, urged her fellow councilors to vote for the appropriation. She said the subcommittee has spent time working on the request for proposals.

The council approved the appropriation by a vote of 11 to 1, with Mr. Rugo in the minority. James Tinsley Jr. of Hyannis was absent.

Janet Joakim, chairman of the town manager search subcommittee, said the town received three responses from search consultants in response to its request for proposals.

Among the three was an entity connected with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, which, as a public entity, can apply outside the RFP process, Ms. Joakim said. The other two names are confidential, according to rules for the RFP process.

The subcommittee will likely meet twice more to examine the proposals and interview the consultants and then make a recommendation in late May to the full town council, Ms. Joakim said.

The consultant is expected to begin work in June and the council hopes to complete the entire search in November.

Because the town charter gives a limit to how long an acting town manager can serve, Mr. Lynch is expected to be appointed to the permanent position in June, on a temporary basis.

He originally expressed interest in the permanent position, but after the council voted to put the job out to a nationwide search, he said he was not sure whether or not he will apply.

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