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Local News

January 25, 2013

Small enters growing field of selectman candidates

Eric Small entered the race for selectman yesterday, making it a field of four, including incumbent Brendan Kelly, Maria Brown and Paula Wood.

Small, who retired in August as Hampton Falls town administrator, is currently the president of the Seabrook Historical Society and a long-time member of the Library Board of Trustees.

There’s a week left for candidates to sign up to run for town and school district offices. Deadline for filing to run is Friday, Feb. 1.

Voters go to the polls on Tuesday, March 12, to make their choice.

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At last week’s meeting of the Board of Selectmen, selectman candidate Brown asked how members intended to go about hiring a permanent town manager.

Joseph Titone was chosen last spring to act as the interim town manager, after then-Town Manager Barry Brenner was relieved of his duties and placed on paid administrative leave. After an significant financial settlement, the town and Brenner parted ways.

Prior to taking on the top administrative position on an interim basis, Titone had been Seabrook’s Emergency Management director. He is now holding down both jobs and earning a combined salary of about $96,000.

Titone remained as interim town manager for months, with little public discussion by selectmen of how they intend to fill the spot permanently.

According to Kelly, he’s ready keep Titone on permanently. Kelly said Titone and new finance director Lilly Gilligan make an “excellent team.”

Selectman Aboul Khan, however, is inclined to take a more traditional route. He hopes to see a search committee formed to consider who should be the next town manager.

Khan thinks members of the search committee could consist of elected town officials, such as treasurer Oliver Carter Jr., town clerk Bonnie Fowler, tax collector Lillian Knowles and the chairmen of the Planning Board and Budget Committee and perhaps others.

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