With the recent rash of employee departures from town government – in the past few months the Chief Financial Officer, Assistant Chief Financial Officer, Building Inspector and Grant Manager have all left town employ – it would be natural to wonder what the town is doing to replace all of the staff members who have left to find greener pastures.
On Tuesday, Town Manager James McKenna said all hiring processes were in good hands, noted the search for a new CFO and Assistant CFO has taken a new road, and that a new building inspector has already been identified.
Though no new hires are ready to be announced, McKenna said the town continues to operate effectively and carefully considering its needs in filling the open positions.
“With the CFO position, in particular, we’re using the recruiting services of the Edward Collins Center at the University of Massachusetts Boston,” said McKenna. “They’re much more capable of doing a broad based recruitment effort than our town is by itself. They have more contacts and experience with these kinds of searches then we do and to be honest, they are well-versed in the complexity of searching for a financial officer who can manage a merged or diverse operation, such as the one we have with the recent merging of the town and school financial operations.”
McKenna pointed to the Collins Center’s current search for a new CFO for the city of New Bedford, which only recently had merged the financial responsibilities for five different departments under the CFO position. Similar to the task of overseeing the merged town and school financial operations in Winthrop, the New Bedford position presents a unique challenge for recruiting and McKenna noted that the Collins Center’s reach and experience will help the town get the best candidate possible.
“This does extend the search a bit,” admitted McKenna. “But a search like this takes the amount of time it needs to take. I’d say about two or three months in total would be a good timeframe.”
In the interim, McKenna said the town is being ably served by a contract service, which is able to maintain the fiscal operation of the town. Once the search for a new CFO is completed, the new CFO can be involved in hiring his or her assistant.
McKenna also announced the retired Revere Building Inspector John Barrett has been hired to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of James Soper, who has left to accept the position of Inspectional Services Director in Everett (see related story).