Three finalists picked for Great Barrington town manager


GREAT BARRINGTON -- Two former mayors and a senior program manager in the New York City mayor's office are the three finalists to replace outgoing Great Barrington Town Manager Kevin O'Donnell.

Ronald San Angelo of Naugatuck, Conn., Michael Sullivan of Maynard, and Jennifer Tabakin of New York City were chosen by the seven-person Town Manager Screening Committee.

"The committee is unanimously behind these three [candidates]," committee chair Michael Wise said.

All three candidates will be interviewed by the Selectmen on Monday, March 11. The Selectmen are expected to choose O'Donnell's successor shortly after the final interviews have been completed.

Deborah Phillips, vice chair of the Selectmen, said she is currently formatting questions for committee members to ask during the interviews.

San Angelo is a former Connecticut state representative who also served as the mayor/town manager of the borough of Naugatuck. Sullivan, who served as mayor of Holyoke for 10 years, is Maynard's town administrator. Tabakin works in the New York City mayor's office.

The Selectmen have indicated that they would like the successful candidate to take office immediately after O'Donnell's contract expires April 25.

The committee reviewed about two dozen applications and interviewed between "six or seven candidates" before selecting the three finalists, Wise said.

San Angelo and Sullivan are also candidates for a similar position in Hadley, Wise said. Neither candidate has said he would definitely accept the position in Great Barrington if he was selected.

"We decided not to look for candidates that are close variations on the same thing, but carry different backgrounds to choose from," Wise said.

San Angelo served 10 years as a state representative in Connecticut from 1992-2003, and spent four years as the mayor/town manager of Naugatuck. He currently works as a senior technology project manager for the Cigna Insurance Co.

Sullivan served as mayor of Holyoke for a decade before leaving office when his term expired in January 2010. During his tenure he also chaired Holyoke's School Committee. He has been the town administrator in Maynard since April 2010.

Tabakin is a senior program manager in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration, involved with economic development and capital project development in the deputy mayor's office. She became a senior program manager in 2009, following three years as a program manager.

The Selectmen decided not to extend O'Donnell's contract last September after he received two consecutive poor job performance evaluations.

O'Donnell, who has served as town manager for five years, currently earns $101,546 in yearly salary compensation. The salary for his successor has not been determined yet, Phillips said.

Philips is impressed with the resumes the committee has received.

"I am very pleased with what we have been given so far as choices go," she said.

To reach John Sakata:
(413) 496-6240

Profiles ...

The three candidates for Great Barrington's town manager are:

n Ronald San Angelo, senior technology project manager, CGI. Formerly the town manager/mayor of Naugatuck and a state representative of the Connecticut state Legislature from 1992-2003.

n Michael Sullivan, town administrator of Maynard. He served as mayor of Holyoke from January 2000 to January 2010.

n Jennifer Tabakin, senior program manager for the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. She had also been a program manager in MTA Capital Program/Office of Construction Oversight at the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


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