It’s been one year since former Town Manager James McKenna stepped down from his position and Monday night the Town Council appointed a part-time town manager to help with the transition until a full-time manager is found.
David Cressman, 65, is a resident of Merrimac, was appointed to a 90-day term with 30 day additional terms if needed. His contract stipulates a 19-hour work week at $80 an hour.
Cressman began working on Tuesday.
Cressman does not desire to become the full-time town manager. The Town Manager Search Committee is accepting applications until May 20, and will meet on May 30.
The search began last year when McKenna resigned and was supposed to act as a consultant to the town for a year. He received his last paycheck on May 15. Police Chief Terry Delehanty took over as interim town manager in November. He was later offered the full position but turned it down, opting to remain as the police chief.
“I like working in local government because you can directly see results,” Cressman said, adding that six capital projects are currently in the works in Dartmouth.
Cressman said he heard about the job through his labor counsel. Town Council President Ron Vecchia said he had also met Cressman through the activities of the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
“We’ve been trying to find the best solution,” Vecchia said. “I felt it was important to have someone here with the knowledge. I feel he’s the perfect fit at this time.”
There will be plenty to keep Cressman busy. There is ongoing litigation regarding the appeal of the gender discrimination against the town, the center business district, the middle school project, zoning issues, and the day-to-day operations of the town.
He said having Delehanty in Town Hall was like having a new Town Hall. Morale certainly was raised.
“He’s made some inroads in terms of personnel. He’s done a tremendous job not just in town hall but in town government in general,” Vecchia said. “He really has done an outstanding job.”
Cressman comes to Winthrop with town administrator experience in Dartmouth for nine years. Prior to that he served in Tewksbury for 21 years as the town’s first town manager where a new police station, library, elementary school and fire-substation. He oversaw the renovation and expansion of the middle school, town hall annex and senior center, as well as completing a $99 million sewer project.
He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a master’s in public administration. He also graduated from Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Penn.
Town Council President Ron Vecchia nominated Cressman and the Town Council unanimously approved.
Cressman said he and his wife Patricia moved to Merrimac to be closer to their granddaughter.