Officials discuss interim town administrator plans

By Douglas McCulloch | Jan 23, 2018

With applicants still handing in resumes and the date of Town Administrator David Cressman’s retirement nearing, the Select Board is working to split the duties of town administrator between two current staffers on an interim basis.

Cressman’s final day at work is February 16. He plans to take vacation time and officially retire on March 6. He announced his retirement at the August 28 Select Board meeting, citing his desire to spend more time with his family.

So far, an agency the town hired to oversee the hiring of a new town administrator received 19 applications as of last week, according to Select Board Chair Frank Gracie. More are expected in the days before the posting closes on February 5, owing to candidates not wanting their job searches made public until as late as possible.

Although the Select Board can function in place of the town administrator, officials entered into discussions to split the duties between two town employees, Finance Director Greg Barnes and Director of Development Deborah Melino-Wender, on an interim basis.

“My personal belief is we do not need to go outside to hire someone,” Gracie said. We have people with capable skills in town.

“That makes sense,” said member Shawn McDonald. “They’re always at department head meetings and they know what’s going on.” He added that it may be tricky for Barnes to assume the role himself, as budget preparations are on the calendar in the near future.

The Select Board voted earlier in the year to hire MRI to lead the search for Dartmouth’s new town administrator.

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