, Newburyport, MA

April 7, 2013

Selectmen begin process to find new town manager

By Angeljean Chiaramida

---- — SEABROOK — Selectmen are moving toward finding a new town manager, seeking out consulting firms to help with their search.

According to Interim Town Manager Joe Titone, selectmen requested he establish a list of agencies skilled at conducting searches for top-level executives. Titone hopes to have a list of companies to present to the board by its next meeting. Selectmen have used such agencies while looking to replace town managers in the past.

“After I give them the list of search firms, selectmen will interview them and choose the one they want to help them with the search,” Titone said. “And they’ll proceed from there with the selection process.”

Titone took over as interim town manager on June 6, 2012, after selectmen placed former town manager Barry Brenner on paid administrative leave on or about May 29, 2012. Prior to taking the helm at Town Hall, Titone served as Seabrook’s emergency management director. Upon his appointment, Titone handled both positions.

In October 2012, selectmen reached a settlement agreement with Brenner, paying him $129,675.69, or the equivalent of 10 and a half months worth of salary and benefits in accordance to the terms of his contract. According to the separation document, the money represents $110,080.08 in direct salary, with the appropriate payroll and tax deductions. In addition, the town will pay $19,595.61 for Brenner’s retirement costs.

Brenner took over in August 2008, following the resignation of former town manager Scott Dunn, who’d been on the job for about a year. Dunn cited personal reasons for his departure. Dunn had succeeded Fred Welch, who left Seabrook to become town manager in Hampton.

In February, selectmen decided to wait until after March elections to seek out a permanent replacement for Brenner.