Richmond ramps up efforts to hire new town administrator

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RICHMOND — Selectmen hope two months is enough time to find and hire a new town administrator prior to the annual town meeting in mid-May.

A screening committee on Monday will begin reviewing the eight to 10 applications from candidates vying to replace Matthew Kerwood, who stepped down in late January, according to interim Town Administrator Bruce Garlow.

The seven-member panel, appointed by the selectmen, will whittle the list down to three finalists for the board to interview in public session. The board expects to hire Kerwood's successor by the end of April.

"Hopefully, we'll get someone with experience, that would make our life a lot easier," said board Chairwoman Marguerite "Jackie" Rawson. "[The person] also has to get along with Town Hall and residents."

The selectmen are seeking a town administrator with a bachelor's degree and at least three years of municipal government know-how. The job was advertised with a salary range of $65,000 to $70,000; Kerwood was earning nearly $71,000 at the time of his resignation.

Two weeks after being sworn into office, Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer appointed Kerwood — with City Council approval — as the new city finance director, officially beginning his new duties Jan. 27. Kerwood had worked in Richmond for seven years after succeeding Garlow, who was the municipality's first-ever town administrator from 1988-2009.

"It's wonderful to have Bruce come back," Rawson said.

Garlow has a three-month contract until the end of April, but that could be extended if necessary.

Garlow and the Richmond budget advisory committee are working on a new fiscal 2017 spending plan for the Finance Committee to consider and make a recommendation to annual Town Meeting voters.

Before leaving, Kerwood got the budget process rolling, Garlow said.

"Matt left us in pretty good shape," he said. "He drafted a budget plan that we're working on now."

Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233.


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