ADAMS -- A search committee could begin to take shape as early as next week to find a replacement for Town Administrator Jonathan Butler, who will leave his post next year.
During a preliminary discussion on Wednesday, the Board of Selectmen also discussed whether to look for an internal department employee who could step in on an interim basis to fulfill administrator duties.
After five years at the helm, Butler announced on May 14 that he would not seek reappointment when his contract expires on July 1, 2015. The Cheshire native was first appointed in 2009 and is currently under his second three-year contract.
Board Chairman Arthur "Skip" Harrington said that, although Butler has given more than a year’s notice, it was important to begin the search process early. Harrington noted that Butler could find an opportunity for employment elsewhere before his contract expires.
"We can’t wait until the end of another year to start that process," Harrington said.
Butler has promised to give at least two months’ notice if he decides to leave before his contract expires, but he board agreed the search process could take four to six months and it should move the process forward ahead of time.
Although Harrington expressed interest in advertising the opening as soon as possible, Butler advised him to hold off.
"It would be difficult to advertise the position now ... and get the breadth of interest," Butler said.
Butler’s salary is $79,000 and is set to increase to $82,000 in fiscal 2015.
The town would save money and see better candidates by waiting until a few months before he left to advertise, Butler said. Selectman Joseph Nowak said the board should discuss how and where the position should be advertised.
Butler also recommended that the board identify an employee that could take on the responsibilities of administrator -- with a small stipend -- temporarily if needed.
"If you have to go three or four months without a town administrator, that could be troublesome, burdensome," Butler said. "It’d be good to have somebody who knows how the town operates."
The board plans to discuss a transition plan in-depth at a workshop meeting on May 28.