Town Manager Search Firm Hired

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

The Town Council has chosen UMass-Boston Collins Center to be the search firm for the next Town Manager.

The council received two proposals for the search firm, the other one being from Ryan Strategies which had a bid of $23,000, well over the $10,000 bid from UMass-Boston. The town had budgeted $24,500 for the job.

Now that the firm is in place,  the town is going ahead with creating a Search Committee. The public is encouraged to apply to be on the committee through the town clerk’s office, and town clerk Carla Vitale said several people have come forward so far.

Council President Russ Sanford said price was not the only factor in choosing UMass-Boston. The fact that the Collins Center has worked before with the town also helped. Sanford added he would prefer a seven-member committee, instead of five.

“They were invaluable in the last town manager search, and I feel comfortable with the Collins Center,” Sanford said. “My choice is to stay with the Collins Center. They are familiar with Winthrop. Cost is not a factor. We’ve worked with them in the past.”

Councilor Heather Engman said she would like to see at least one member of the committee have an urban planning background and be familiar with capital plans and strategic plans.

According to the town charter, the council president is the one to decide who the next town manager will be, but Sanford does want input from others. There are no methods or guidelines to follow in selecting the next town manager.

“It’s important we get the process started,” Sanford said. “I want to see a well-rounded search committee.

Councilor Rich Boyajian asked if presentations of the proposals could come before the council.

“The council president has to get the qualified person before the council,” said Councilor Nick DelVento. “The charter gives us 90 days with an interim town manager.”

Police Chief Terence Delehanty was named interim town manager at the end of August after Town Manager James McKenna opted not to renew his contract. McKenna will be a consultant to the town until his contract runs out in May 2018.

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