Update on Search for Town Manager
A key element in the search for a town manager, the Framingham Profile, was presented in draft form to Selectmen, who delayed approving it until August.
The Board of Selectmen took no formal action last night on a draft version of a document that gives an overview of the town and the town manager position, but did manage to make progress in the on-going quest for a new chief administrator.
The Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public management at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the group hired by the Selectmen as consultants to the town manager search, presented an eight-page draft of a profile of the town and the town manager position.
The profile will serve as a marketing and informational tool for the Collins Center as it goes through the process of recruiting suitable candidates for the town manager position.
Current Town Manager Julian Suso’s contract was not renewed by the Selectmen and his tenure ended June 30. He is still in the position because the Selectmen agreed to give him extensions of his contract until Oct. 30.
The Selectmen asked Richard Kobayashi, senior consultant for the Collins Center, to make sure that minimum requirements for the position, which are being formulated by the Town Meeting-appointed Personnel Board, are included in the final profile document.
The profile and the job description are important elements in the recruitment process. They would also be the basis for any advertising that will be done. The Collins Center will handle advertising the position and Kobayashi plans to advertise in a two professional municipal government publications.
Selectman Dennis Giombetti raised the point that a sentence in the draft that read, “The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree and the knowledge typically gained in a Masters program would be valuable,” may differ from the minimum qualifications that the personnel board is charged with formulating.
He and other board members suggested the profile be put on hold until the Personnel Board formulates the job description.
Further the Selectmen urged the Personnel Board to have the town manager job description ready for a special Aug. 16 meeting. Earlier in the meeting, Steve Richards, the Personnel Board chairman, had indicated the recently formed board would have a job description by the Selectmen’s Aug. 23 meeting.
The search committee charged with bringing forth candidates for the position was at the meeting and Chairman Deb Tosti indicated the committee would be ready to go to work as soon as it receives resumes from the Collins Center.
Kobayashi confirmed that he would have 10 to 12 resumes of likely candidates ready for the search committee and have a file of other qualified candidates available, if the committee chose to view them.
Board of Selectmen Chair Jason Smith urged the search committee and the consultants to meet and work together.
“Communications is the key,” said Selectman Laurie Lee. “Everyone needs to know their role.”
Overall the profile that Kobayashi submitted was met with rave reviews.
“You have done an excellent job preparing this,” Selectman Charlie Sisitsky told Kobayashi. “This is a magnificent effort putting together a comprehensive profile of the town. I’m very pleased with the outcome.”
Lee was also pleased with the document but took exception to one phrase that read, “There are three distinct Framinghams: an Industrial/Commercial Framingham based on the Town’s location, a suburban Framingham based on post-war single family housing development, and an urban Framingham concentrated in and around the old downtown and the sites of the former Dennison Manufacturing facility and the former GM vehicle assembly plant.”
“I’m not comfortable with the way you divided the town up that way,” said Lee. “There aren’t three different Framinghams. That is not the vision I see of Framingham.”
Kobyashi responded that distinct does not necessarily mean different and perhaps aspects may have been a better word. He also said he will work on the wording.
He indicated the Board of Selectmen should have names of candidates by Labor Day.