BECKET -- Following a review of evaluation forms, the Becket Select Board has begun a search for a new town administrator after recently deciding not to extend the appointment of Craig Kleman.

On Wednesday's select board meeting, Chair Mark Karlberg said that former Sheffield Town Administrator Joseph Kellogg will be appointed as a part-time interim replacement.

Karlberg said that the board is aiming to hire a permanent full-time town administrator by April or May.

The decision was made after the conclusion of the last select board meeting on Dec. 5.

Kleman has been the town administrator since about March 2011. His six-month appointment ends at the end of the month. The position paid about $51,500 per year with health benefits.

Karlberg would not elaborate why the select board decided to conduct a search for a new town administrator, but he said that the evaluations filled out by department heads and the select board members in November played a large role.

Karlberg said that there was no legal misconduct. He complimented Kleman on his organization skills, but he said the select board decided to go search for another candidate.

"The review should have been conducted earlier than it was," Karlberg said. "We should have reviewed him after being on the job for a year and we didn't get to it."

In a prepared statement, Kleman wrote, "I believe that I have served this Town admirably, but the select board has decided to go in another direction, which is their prerogative."

Since joining the board, Kleman wrote that he has overseen computer system improvements. He also applied for grant funding for Fire Station #2, state Green Communities money for energy efficiency, along with the everyday work of managing the town departments.

Karlberg said that Kellogg will be paid $45 an hour. He said the Select Board will solicit applications for committee members that will review town administrator resumes.

In other business, the use of $60,000 in free cash funds was unanimously approved, according to the town clerk

The articles included $8,000 allocated to the Police Department Revolving Fund for detail work, $32,000 for a transmission repair to the town grader, and $20,000 in additional funds to the Town Hall Central Air Conditioning Project.

To reach John Sakata: jsakata@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6240. On Twitter: @jsakata