CLARKSBURG -- Selectmen have unanimously voted to offer the town administrator position to John Sanguinet.

Selectmen chose the Plymouth applicant after much discussion in a meeting Wednesday afternoon. The appointment is subject to negotiations.

Sanguinet worked as both the interim town administrator and town administrator of Wareham, and previously worked for 14 years with the state Department of Revenue. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a masters in public administration from Northeastern University in Boston.

If he accepts the position, Sanguinet would replace former Town Administrator Thomas Webb, who announced his retirement in February after a year and a half with the town.

Selectmen selected Sanguinet among two other final candidates: Former Selectmen Chairman Carl McKinney, who resigned from the board in late January to apply for the position, and Mark Pruhenski, the current health agent for Great Barrington.

Selectmen Chairwoman Lily Kuzia and Selectman Jeffrey Levanos, the only two members of the board after McKinney’s resignation, disagreed with which candidate would be best.

Kuzia advocated strongly for Sanguniet, pointing to his experience with DOR and handling a $1.9 million deficit from revenue shortfalls while working in Wareham. Kuzia noted the financial discrepancies that were uncovered in Clarksburg last year and were caused by a lack of proper procedures.

"That’s what we need right now -- someone who can step up to the plate and help us with the mess we’re in," she said.

Levanos meanwhile advocated strongly for McKinney, a Clarksburg native who has served as Selectmen for 11 years and several years on the Finance Committee. Levanos said that McKinney would bring a large amount of local knowledge to the position.

Levanos also expressed concern over Sanguinet never having been promoted to town administrator, though he served as interim in different towns.

"It aggravates me that [McKinney] has given so much to the town," he added. "I don’t see anything here other than a desire to help it."

But Kuzia expressed concern over the state attorney general’s office ruling of an open meeting violation on McKinney and then administrator Webb, who were serving as assessor and principal assessor. She also stated she felt that her and Levanos were "kept out of the loop" while working with McKinney.

Levanos agreed that the ruling bothered him, but noted that Sanguinet was not his top choice.

Sanguinet declined comment, as Selectmen have yet to inform him of their decision.

To reach Edward Damon:
edamon@berkshireeagle.com
or (413) 663-3741 ext 224.
On Twitter: @BE_EDamon