At their May 22 meeting, members of the Stoughton Board of Selectmen voted unanimously for the to enter into negotiations with Municipal Resources, Inc. (MRI), a firm which will assist in the process of hiring a permanent town manager.
MRI was the only firm to submit a proposal, but Search Committee members Forrest Lindwall and Eric Milgroom told Selectmen they were not concerned with picking MRI despite a lack of competition from other firms.
Milgroom said that there were no red flags that came up when the Search Committee was considering the proposal.
MRI's bid of $18,750 also came under the $20,000 budgeted for consultant fees.
Lindwall said MRI, based in Meredith, NH, specializes in working with towns with populations less than 50,000. While he said they are known for their work with police and fire chief searches, they also have experience with town administrative searches.
The Search Committee will negotiate a contract with MRI and then come before the Selectmen for final approval.
The Selectmen also discussed the qualifications and requirements they had in mind for the next town manager, which will be passed along to the Search Committee and consulting firm.
Selectmen indicated they would be looking for an experienced candidate.
A memo drafted by Selectman Bob O'Regan said "Preference will be given to candidates who have a master’s degree in public or business administration and at least 5 years’ experience as a town or city manager, an assistant town or city manager."
But the door was left open for candidates with experience in other fields, with the memo continuing, "or a manager in a similar public-sector position; or other relevant experience in local government, public administration, or management."
The memo indicated it would be "desirable" for the candidate to bell well-versed in "multi-year budgeting, planning and economic development."
Candidates should also "possess strong academic credentials and solid abilities in written and oral communication."
Selectmen Chair John Stagnone said at this time there would not be a residency requirement.
The request for proposals for the consulting firms said the town anticipated the hiring of a new town manager by August 1. Lindwall suggested moving that date back to August 15 or September 1.
Stoughton is just one of a number of towns searching for a town manager. Lindwall said the towns of Bridgewater, Plymouth, Framingham and Ipswich, among others, are also looking to make a hire.
is currently serving as Stoughton's Interim Town Manager. previously served as Town Manager for two years before announcing his resignation in January of this year. His last day in office was March 31.