NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 23, 2013

Selectmen start search for new manager

Seabrook: Board will find candidates without outside help

(Continued)

“The Board of Selectmen has the right to hire the town manager,” Khan said. “It’s the board’s choice.”

According to Smith, last Friday the board sat down in private session with their attorney to discuss their options and the laws related to finding and appointing a town manager.

Selectmen also approved the language of the advertisement for the job. Under the list of requirements, selectmen want a demonstrated record of management; personnel, financial, and communication skills; a working knowledge New Hampshire municipal law; experience in union negotiations; and at least three to five years of work in public administration.

Selectmen said they will post their ad in the same publications, websites and venues used in past searches. Deadline for applications is May 22, and according to Khan, selectmen will review every resume that comes their way.

Smith suggested blacking out the names of candidates before selectmen review the resumes, to avoid charges of giving some candidates preferential treatment.

“That way no one can accuse anybody of favoritism or anything else,” Smith said. “It keeps it fair.”

It’s been nearly 11 months since selectmen abruptly suspended former manager Barry Brenner for undisclosed reasons. The job was filled in early June by interim Town Manager Joe Titone, who said he thought he’d only be at the helm for about three months.

Brenner’s separation from the town became permanent in October 2012, when both parties reached a settlement that awarded Brenner $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. The agreement also says that beyond the financial settlement, the town had already paid Brenner his earned vacation pay.

A confidentiality agreement prohibits selectmen from discussing why Brenner was terminated.

Brenner followed former Town Manager Scott Dunn, who resigned after about a year on the job, citing personal reasons for his departure.

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