Wanted: full-time interim municipal administrator

CARVER – As we enter the 2023 budget season with a full-time interim municipal administrator, it remains to be seen what interest there will be on the part of future interim municipal administrator candidates to complete the task.

The board of directors voted 4-1 on Tuesday night to order Deputy City Administrator Elaine Weston to make an announcement for a full-time interim city administrator.

This was after Robert Belbin, a board member, withdrew his motion to advertise a part-time administrator until the city reached a contractual agreement with a permanent city administrator and the Member Jim Hoffman said he would be more comfortable hiring a full-time interim city administrator.

Sarah Hewins, a board member, said she fears Carver is at risk in terms of the budget process as there is a need for the city administrator to prepare a budget and a new interim administrator might not be on board in time to complete the process.

She argued that Carver is not like other cities and that they need someone who understands how Carver works.

“We need someone who really understands what’s going on here,” she said.

She again attempted to enlist the support of other board members to extend Rick LaFond’s tenure as interim city administrator, but her proposal again fell through with a 3-2 vote.

Hewins and Jen Bogart, a Select Board member, were selected to sit on a subcommittee that would meet with LaFond to discuss a possible contract extension beyond December 31.

Bogart and Hewins actually didn’t meet him as planned. Bogart said no deal was reached after meeting LaFond on her own in a more casual setting rather than meeting in executive session, making no promises that she would support a six-month extension as Hewins claims .

Belbin criticized Hewins for not starting the research process earlier as he requested when she was president knowing that LaFond’s contract expires on December 31 while claiming that Carver’s budget process is not unique.

“You didn’t do it as president,” she said.

For his part, LaFond assured the board that he and the city’s finance team were diligently pursuing the budget process. Belbin, who does not support LaFond as the city administrator, said he was confident LaFond will follow suit.

Hoffman also questioned the lack of foresight when the previous selection committee agreed to a contract with LaFond that expires during the budget season.

LaFond said the timeline for the budget process includes submitting city budgets to the administrator’s office by Dec. 3 based on city regulations and submitting a 2023 fiscal budget proposal to the committee. finances by January 26, or 75 days before the city. Meeting

The board has set a date for the city’s annual meeting on Tuesday, with a start time of 7 p.m. on Tuesday April 12, with a second night scheduled for Thursday April 14.

President Mark Townsend has offered to use the services of former city administrator Michael Milanoski in his executive consultant role as a sort of adviser to the board after LaFond’s contract expires. Belbin suggested they discuss the idea further at a future board meeting.

The new municipal administrator selection committee has until April 15 to recommend candidates for the hiring of a permanent municipal administrator.

A new member was appointed on Tuesday evening, Ellen Blanchard joining non-executive members Mary Ross and Patrick Meagher on the selection committee, and Walter Cole was reappointed as a representative of the business community. Blanchard replaced Adam Holmes with a 3-2 vote.

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