NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

January 25, 2013

Small enters growing field of selectman candidates

Seabrook Town Notebook
Angeljean Chiaramida

---- — 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.

In the past, whenever seeking to fill the town managers position, other boards of selectmen have always undertaken an extensive search prior to making their selection. They have even hired consultants to conduct the search for the town.

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Derek Scialdone is joining The Provident Bank as its new branch manager in Seabrook, according to Gary Coltin, executive vice president for retail banking for The Provident.

A graduate of Merrimack College and a resident of Amesbury, Scialdone, has more than 14 years of banking experience.

“Derek’s education, training and banking experience will serve him well as he steps into his new role as branch manager in Seabrook,” Coltin said. “I know that our customers will enjoy working with him, and that he will be a true asset to the Seabrook community.”

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Seabrook’s state Sen. Nancy Stiles, R-Hampton, has championed a bill that will provide $3.8 million for a fishing pier and dredge of Hampton Harbor.

According to a release from Stiles’ office, in her testimony before the Senate Finance Committee earlier this week, the senator urged passage of Senate Bill 39, which will secure funding for the rebuilding of the Hampton Harbor Commercial Fishing Pier and the continued dredging of Hampton Harbor.

Stiles told the committee to make the $3.8 million needed to keep the project moving as part of the state’s general fund budget and not as a capital budget project, so the project could go forward in February and be completed in time for the summer season.

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Angeljean Chiaramida covers Seabrook for the Daily News. She can be reached at 978-462-6666, ext. 3271, or at achiaramida@newburyportnews.com.