NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

June 14, 2013

Seabrook town manager finalists to be named Monday

BY ANGELJEAN CHIARAMIDA
STAFF WRITER

---- — SEABROOK — On Monday morning, selectmen are expected to release the list of the three candidates whom they consider the finalists in their search for Seabrook’s next town manager.

According to Selectman Aboul Khan, the announcement will be made in conjunction with the board’s regular 10 a.m. bi-monthly business meeting.

“The meeting will be public,” said Khan, chairman of the board. “And the announcement will be made in accordance with Seabrook’s Town Charter, Chapter 112, Sections 2 and 3 to name the final candidates for the position.”

Khan also said that at the meeting, selectmen may name the person the board has chosen to be the prospective town manager. That individual is not expected to be at the meeting, Khan said, for contract negotiations may not be completed by then.

Should selectmen announce the name of the person they’ve chosen, it could indicate they have already offered someone the position.

Khan said that in non-public session, he and his fellow selectmen Ed Hess and Ray Smith interviewed nine individuals from the more than 30 who applied by the deadline in mid-May. The interviews ended June 7, and Khan said on Monday they again met in non-public session to decide on the list of three finalists. The decision on the final three was unanimous, he said.

It was at their May 20 meeting that selectmen told the public that before they pick the man or woman to take over as town manager that they would release the names of all three who made the short list of finalists. Selectmen said that announcing the names of three finalists was required by Seabrook Town Charter, although the process had not been part of previous searches.

In April, selectmen decided to take on the entire task of finding the town’s new town manager themselves, instead of hiring a consultant or search firm to help, as had been the process previously. Selectmen said after getting quotes from top firms, they thought it was too expensive to hire an employment consultant.

Requirements for the town manager job include a college degree, three to five years in public administration, a demonstrated record in management, as well as personnel, financial and communication skills, plus a working knowledge of New Hampshire municipal law and experience in union negotiations.

At their meeting on June 4, Khan moved to bring town counsel into the meeting when three candidates were culled from the rest of those interviewed. However, Smith and Hess didn’t approve the motion. Khan said he wanted town counsel at the meeting to ensure the board proceeded with delicate personnel issues in the proper way.

More than a year ago, selectmen abruptly suspended former manager Barry Brenner for undisclosed reasons. The job has been filled since early June, 2012 by interim Town Manager Joe Titone.