Consultant Hired for Town Manager Search
A municipal administrator recruitment team from UMass Boston was brought into the town manager search process by Selectmen.
The Board of Selectman hired a consultant Tuesdaynight,giving momentum to the process of finding a new town manager.
In a unanimous vote, Selectmen accepted a proposal from the Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston, to assist in the search for the town’s top administrator to replace current Town Manager Julian Suso.
This past spring, Selectmen did not renew Suso’s contract. Suso’s term as Town Manager ends July 31. Selectmen granted an extension to Suso until October if the town manager slot isn’t filled or if Suso has not found another job.
The cost of the Collins Center’s services will be $16,500 plus expenses, according to the agreement. Acceptance of the agreement is contingent on review by Town Counsel.
The Center is described in its Scope of Services document as, “… a vehicle to provide assistance to municipalities and state agencies to help improve public management. (The Center) has established an executive recruitment practice in the belief that helping public organizations select the best leaders will result in increased organizational effectiveness.”
The Collins Center in its report identified four areas that would benefit the town:
- Clarification and consensus on the critical issues facing Framingham;
- A structured process for interviewing and selecting a Town Manager;
- A qualified pool of candidates;
- Public confidence in the selection process.
Richard Kobayashi, of the Collins Center, indicated he and his team would begin work immediately by starting a series of interviews with members of the Board of Selectmen and “stakeholders” in town, designated by Selectmen.
The interviews will be a first step in creating a profile of Framingham and the position. A key component of the profile will be focusing on Framingham’s priority issues, which will lead to identifying Framingham-specific qualities in a town manager candidate.
The recruitment team will not move ahead with a candidate search until the Board of Selectmen approves the profile.
The Collins Center consultants will establish a pool of candidates and support the search committee’s process of evaluating the candidates. Once candidates are brought forth by the search committee, the team will help plan the Board of Selectman’s interviews with finalists.
Kobayashi suggested that a first draft of the profile be a working document and the basis of a meeting among the consultants, Selectmen and the search committee. Board of Selectman Chair Jason Smith proposed July 26 as the date of the meeting.
Nancy Wilson, of the 10-person search committee, asked if there was a timeline in the proposal. Smith answered there was a general time reference to the entire process of 90 to 120 days. He also said he expected a detailed timeline should be included as part of the July meeting.
Framingham resident and Town Meeting member Kathy McCarthy exhorted Selectmen to make known its vision of Framingham. “People would be interested in hearing your individual thoughts,” she said. “And keep those thoughts as public as possible.”