Williamstown gains residents

The Town Manager Search Committee met for the first time Monday to discuss the first steps in finding a new lead administrator for town government.

WILLIAMSTOWN — If everything goes according to plan, a new, full-time town manager could start work shortly after Thanksgiving.

The 10-member Town Manager Search Committee met for the first time Monday afternoon, and after introductions were made, discussion centered around the calendar for the search process, and the procedure for setting criteria and desired qualities sought in the ideal candidate.

“I thought it was a good first outing,” Select Board Member Jane Patton said during the Select Board meeting that followed the search committee meeting. “And this is not something to rush or to settle for anything we aren’t looking for.”

Much of the search logistics will be conducted by GovHR USA specialists Lee Szymborski and Michael Jaillet.

Szymborski said the second round of finalist interviews would take place in September or October.

Initial screening of candidates will be conducted by the GovHR team, based on objective criteria that are not met by some candidates; subjective judgments about qualities or credentials will be left up to the committee.

Committee member Geraldine Chen wondered if the screening process can be documented in grid form so the committee members can see each candidate and why he or she did not progress to the next level of the search process. Others wanted to be sure that the search specialists have the ability to identify candidates whose talents or skills allow them to progress, even if they don’t meet the strict criteria.

Fairly soon, town stakeholders will be asked to fill out a survey on what qualities they would like to see in a new town manager. The results will be used in setting the list of criteria, credentials and qualities desired in the successful candidates.

Two members of the committee — Patton and Hugh Daley — are Select Board members.

Daley noted that once the search committee presents the final list of three or four candidates that it would be confident serving as town manager, it is up to the Select Board as the hiring authority to make the final selection.

Scott Stafford can be reached at sstafford@berkshireeagle.com or at 413-629-4517.