Monday August 20, 2012

LANESBOROUGH -- The Board of Selectmen are considering three candidates, among them a former mayor, for the revamped town administrator's job town officials hope to fill next month.

On Wednesday, the board will interview Edward Gibson, mayor of West Springfield for 12 years, Wellfleet Town Administrator Paul Sieloff and Matthew Selby, Ashland's director of community development and health.

The three, hour-long question-and-answer sessions be tween the three-member board and the finalists are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. with Gibson, followed by Selby and Sieloff. The interviews at Town Hall will be open to the public.

Selectman Robert Barton doubts the board will make an immediate decision as to who will replace Paul Boudreau, who resigned in March. Boudreau left for a job with Berkshire County Arc.

"We will probably have a two-stage approach after Wednes day's interviews," Barton said on Sunday. "Whomever we favor, we will do a background check and then make an offer by the end of August."

If the board successfully negotiates a contract with one of the finalists, Barton expects the new town administrator to begin the transition with the interim town administrator, Joseph Kellogg, in late September or early October.

The town is seeking its first-ever full-time administrator to replace Boudreau, who averaged a 28-hour week. A special town meeting last month supported a full-timer by approving a $19,000 increase in the town administrator's paycheck, so the selectmen could offer the new hire an annual salary between $60,000 and $70,000. Boudreau was earning nearly $48,000 a year when he ended his 13-year stint in Lanesborough.

Gibson, Selby and Sieloff were among 41 applicants for the position, including several from Berkshire County, according to town officials. A search committee spent two weeks sifting through the resumes, whittling the list down to six semi-finalists, before making a recommendation to the selectmen.

"Those three clearly came out on top after the committee interviewed the six," said Kellogg, who didn't apply for the position.

Gibson ran a hardware store in West Springfield, prior to serving as the community's first-ever mayor from 2002 to 2012. Last fall, Gibson opted against seeking a sixth, two-year term and currently does consulting work, according to his resume.

Sieloff has been Wellfleet's town administrator the past five years. A licensed attorney in New York state , he also has several years of municipal government experience in New York, including budget analyst for Albany County.

Director of community development and health is one of several positions Selby has held the last seven years in Ashland, near Framingham. He has also served as the town's zoning enforcement officer and conservation agent.

"It's pleasing on one hand to have three very qualified people, but on the other hand it will be difficult to make a decision by comparing the diverse candidates," Barton said.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle. com, or (413) 496-6233.


If you go:

What: Lanesborough Board of Selectmen interviews candidates for town administrator.

When: Wednesday,
4 to 7 p.m.

Where: Town Hall,
83 North Main St.