3 Richmond town administrator finalists will have their say before Select Board, public

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RICHMOND — Town leaders appear to be closing in on decision day for selecting a new town administrator.

The three finalists out of 21 original applicants will be grilled, or more likely questioned gently, by the Select Board in a public session at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall.

First at bat for back-to-back, 45-minute interviews is Rebecca Stone, town administrator of Otis for the past year.

She will be followed at 6:45 p.m. by Danielle Fillio, the Stockbridge town administrator who initially was named to the interim post in October 2016, after the retirement of her mentor for nine years, Jorja-Ann Marsden.

At 7:30 p.m., candidate Angeline Lopes Ellison, town manager of Uxbridge in Worcester County for 16 months, until her recent resignation, will undergo questioning by Select Board Chairman Roger Manzolini along with members Neal Pilson and Alan Hanson.

The Select Board has a regular meeting the next evening, at 6 on Wednesday. Whether it will announce its choice at that time remains uncertain.

"I put the town administrator update on the regular meeting agenda in case they make a decision after the interviews," said interim Town Administrator Bob Markel. "It is not clear what they will do or when."

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Richmond is seeking a successor to Mark Pruhenski, who served for three years before winning the open town manager position in Great Barrington, where he began work June 1.

The job posting on the Massachusetts Municipal Association website states that the successful candidate will receive a competitive compensation package based on qualifications and experience with an annual salary of up to $75,000, as well as health and retirement plans. The position calls for a 40-hour workweek, Monday through Friday, with occasional night meetings.

Requirements include preferred experience as a municipal manager or assistant or equivalent education and experience, while "the ideal candidate should have a bachelor's and/or master's degree in a field related to municipal management."

"Candidates should possess demonstrated skills, abilities and knowledge in municipal finance, grant writing and administration, municipal procurement, personnel management, and possess a positive attitude and strong leadership skills," according to the job posting.

- Ellison, who lives in Sturbridge and has been on the Select Board there, was town administrator of Blandford for 17 months before serving as Uxbridge town manager. She earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Southeastern Massachusetts University in Dartmouth, a master of arts in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston and, last month, a master certificate in local government leadership and management from Suffolk University in Boston. Before entering municipal administration, she was assistant dean of student services and multicultural affairs at Framingham State College, and then interim dean of students and associate dean of students at UMass-Boston.

- Fillio, assistant town administrator for nine years in Stockbridge before she was promoted to the top job, has an associate degree as a paralegal from the Brandford Hall Career Institute in Windsor Locks, Conn., and an online certificate in financial management and human resources management from Cornell University. She resides in Lee.

- Stone, before she was hired as town administrator in Otis, held that position in Readsboro, Vt., from 2015 to 2017. Previously, she was administrative assistant in the town of Bernardston for six years and town coordinator in Heath for four years. She has an associate degree from Greenfield Community College, and her resume lists citations for outstanding community service from the governor, lieutenant governor, the state House, the state Senate and the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.


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