Town Administrator David Cressman announces his retirement

By Mary Macedo | Aug 29, 2017
Courtesy of: Maggie Sheehan/ Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Town Administrator David Cressman at the presentation of a wellness grant in December 2016.

Just before the Select Board’s August 28 meeting came to a close, Town Administrator David Cressman stood up to make an announcement that was not on the agenda: he plans to retire from his post next year.

Featuring a presentation which began and ended with a slide showing his granddaughter Lily, he revealed he wishes to spend more time with her, his daughter Sarah Cressman Gagnon, and his wife Pat Cressman.

"I started thinking about retirement one year ago when my granddaughter was born," Cressman said via phone.

There were times when his daughter needed help watching Lily, but living far away from them made it tough. In April, there was an emergency and Lily needed watching, but he and his wife could not get to the North Shore where his daughter lives in time.

"Fortunately, there was someone who was able to take care of Lily," Cressman said via phone.

He hopes retirement will give him more time to follow Lily as she grows up. He hopes to attend soccer, softball, and other extracurricular activities with her.

At the Select Board meeting, he expressed his love for working in municipal government over the past 30 years. He worked in Tewksbury as the town manager for 22 years before moving to Dartmouth and serving as town administrator for about eight years.

He said one of his biggest accomplishments in Dartmouth was the town's gains in solar energy and sustainability with the development of solar farms. His work in town earned him the 2014 ICMA Local Government Excellence Award for Sustainability.

At times emotional during the presentation, he said that although he is retiring, he may find some interim work down the road.

"I'm done living in the town of Dartmouth because I will be moving closer to my daughter," Cressman said via phone. "But done in terms of municipal government... not sure if I'm really done with that."

At the end of his presentation, the Select Board stood and applauded him and thanked him for his accomplishments. Board members were sad to see him go.

Board member Shawn McDonald said replacing Cressman as Town Administrator is going to be a tough job.

"There's a lot of things he has done over the past eight years that have vastly improved the town," McDonald said via phone, listing off securing an AAA bond rating for the town, and a variety of municipal building projects as items he was impressed with.

Moving forward, McDonald said he plans to look into how the town and the Select Board handled hiring Cressman to guide the process of hiring a new town administrator. He added that it might be a tough hiring process, as several other towns are also searching for new leaders.

There is currently no set date of when his retirement will begin, but Cressman said it will most likely be between February and April of this coming year.

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