Stoughton Selectmen, HR Director Start to Discuss Town Manager Search
Town Manager Francis T. Crimmins, Jr. informed selectmen of his resignation, effective March 31, 2012. Selectmen are taking the first steps in finding a replacement.
In his first public statements since announcing his resignation as Stoughton’s Town Manager, Francis T. Crimmins, Jr. dispelled some rumors regarding his resignation, but those looking for a definitive reason as to why Crimmins is departing, were left empty-handed.
In addressing the board of selectmen at their Tuesday meeting, Crimmins said, “No, I am not sick, other than a cold…I also heard I was going to be president of a university. That’s not accurate either.”
He thanked the community for their “kind remarks” upon the announcement of his resignation.
As for why he resigned, the Town Manager said, “sometime down the road I’ll comment on those things, but right now I’m working as you folks are with town department heads” preparing the budget and preparing for Town Meeting.
The board of selectmen by a 3-2 vote hired Crimmins, a former First Justice at the Stoughton District Court, in January of 2010.
Selectmen, with the help of human resources director Martin McNamara, turned their attention to finding Crimmins’ replacement Tuesday night.
“I wish I was here on a totally different topic, but it is what it is,” McNamara told selectmen.
While Crimmins’ departure is just two months away he cautioned selectmen to “take time with the process; there’s no need to rush.”
“It’s the most important appointment you folks make,” he said.
McNamara noted that seven other towns are currently looking for town managers or town administrators, and two of these towns—Hanover and Framingham—recently extended their searches, unsatisfied with the initial applicant pool.
Overall, McNamara said the pool of town manager candidates is “dwindling,” with many deterred by the long hours, growing responsibilities and increasing public scrutiny.
Selectmen discussed some basic parameters for the town manager search, and seemed to be leaning towards hiring a firm to assist with the process.
Other options include the selectmen conducting their own independent search or to have an in-house search, but McNamara cautioned that if the search is done in-house. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for a person who will potentially be a candidate to be reviewing resumes.”
Consulting firms also have resumes from candidates in other towns, which could speed up the search process, McNamara said. He estimated the cost of utilizing a firm could be between $5,000 and $20,000.
Selectmen also seemed to be willing to waive the current residency requirement for the right candidate. Selectman Cynthia Walsh pointed out that this is not a requirement for other department heads.
McNamara advised selectmen to keep the qualifications for the job broad so it doesn’t deter potential applicants. He used the example of a CEO of a major company who might not meet all of the criteria but would be a candidate “worth talking to.”
Selectman John Anderson said he would like to see an advertisement for town manager include a salary range and background information about the town of Stoughton.
McNamara will be taking the suggestions from the selectmen and drafting job requirements and an advertisement for the position.
He told selectmen that the search for a new town manger is “at minimum a six month process.”
Selectmen are scheduled to meet next Tuesday, Feb. 7.