LEE — The Lee Select Board is ready to name the ad hoc group that will help it find a new town administrator.
During a Zoom version of its bimonthly meeting, the board said last week that it had received at least 13 letters of intent from residents interested in serving on the seven-person search committee.
“I am encouraged by the interest in the committee,” said Selectman Sean Regnier.
Added Chairwoman Patricia Carlino: “I’m pleased so many competent people applied.”
Carlino expects that two more people will throw their hat in the ring before the board meets Sept. 21. Until then, board members individually will rate the applicants, each picking their top seven and the full board choosing the committee, based on those ratings.
Meanwhile, the board is expected to hire a temporary town administrator from among the Town Hall staff to bridge between Lee/Lenox Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Ketchen leaving and the board picking his successor.
Ketchen’s dual role of managing both towns ends next month, after the Lenox Select Board voted in late July to cancel its intermunicipal agreement with Lee so that Ketchen can focus full time on the issues and projects of the town where he is based. He will revert to being a full-time town manager in Lenox on Sept. 27.
Ketchen, 44, earns $128,638. His annual salary is split between the two towns. Going forward as town manager of Lenox, his salary will be $115,570, as of the current fiscal year that began July 1.
In May 2017, annual town meeting representatives in Lee named Ketchen as the Lee-Lenox chief administrative officer, a shared-services innovation approved the same month by Lenox voters. At the time, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito congratulated selectmen from both towns for creating a blueprint for future service-sharing by other Massachusetts communities.