Hanson Town Administrator search continues as a finalist’s withdrawal prompts salary, benefits change and re-post
HANSON — With one of three finalists withdrawing for personal reasons, the Town Administrator Search Committee Tuesday night recommended, and Selectmen agreed, that the job be re-posted with a $10,0000 increase in salary range — pending Town Meeting approval — and a more detailed job description and outline of benefits.
The current salary range is $95,000 to $110,000. The Search Committee would like to see it increased to between $110,000 to $120,000.
Hanson Town Administrator search continues as the Search Committee, which has not released information about the finalists, would like to retain the remaining two as it renews the posting. Interim Town Administrator Richard LaCamera said he would check with town counsel to see if such a move would be permitted.
“We as a committee would not want to release those [names of finalists] yet,” Search Committee Chairman Ken McCormick said. “We’d like to keep it under executive session privilege. We’re not moving them forward yet, so I don’t think it would be right to send their names out right now.”
LaCamera supported that position, while he doubted it would be permitted to hold the remaining two finalists.
“You’re certainly doing the right thing by not making them public because it’s not fair to them,” LaCamera said.
Selectmen, after the meeting, said that they don’t know who the three finalists were despite discussion around town regarding their identities.
“I don’t want to know at this point,” Selectman James McGahan said, indicating he preferred to await an official notification from the Search Committee prior to the board’s interviews with finalists.
The first search brought in 22 applications, from which four were invited to interview and the three finalists were selected. One of the four had voiced issues with job description and qualification matters so he withdrew, followed by one of the finalists as the committee was preparing to present a list to Selectmen.
“The committee’s feeling is we need to get it right and give the town the best possible candidates out there — and enough of them to make your decision,” McCormick said. “We didn’t feel that two is enough.”
One option discussed in an executive session of the Search Committee Tuesday was to start again. The other option was to go with the remaining two finalists while posting for additional candidates, which they decided to recommend to Selectmen.
“We don’t want anything less than three,” McCormick said.
“Hopefully, the two candidates will still be around,” Selectman Kenny Mitchell said. “When we started this process, we knew the salary might be an issue.”
McCormick admitted that is a concern.
In other business, Selectmen voted 5-0 to hire Leah Guercio, 164 Reed St., as Assistant Supportive Day Program Coordinator at the Senior Center.
LaCamera and COA Director Mary Collins both recommended Guercio, who has 30 years’ experience as a nurse, for the post in the program where she has been a volunteer for five years.
“Every day that she is there, you know that she is present,” Collins said. “I know it from the way [clients] are reacting.”
Collins lauded Guercio’s compassion, sense of humor, common sense and experience.