HANSON — Town Administrator Lisa Green is out on a temporary medical leave, elect Board Chair Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett announced at the board’s Tuesday, Aug. 30 meeting.
The board had met in executive session Monday, Aug. 29 under Mass. General Law provisions regarding the physical condition or competence of an employee.
“Naturally I can’t provide any details [about Green’s health], that would be violating HIPAA, nor do I think people necessarily want to hear the gory details,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said. “With that said, we’re obviously in a critical time since we are knee-deep for preparations for Town Meeting which is one of the most important days of the year for the town.”
FitzGerald-Kemmett said that, working with town counsel, the board was able to identify a candidate who has acted as an interim for in the past
The Select Board entered into an agreement with Kevin Donvan to serve as interim town administrator for a period of up to three months at a rate of $75 per hour, which FitzGerald-Kemmett is quite reasonable for the job he is going to be doing and is expected to do He is deeply experienced, having served as tow administrator for other towns and has also served on the Abington select board and “has quite an impressive résumé.”
Donovan started his role on Wednesday, Aug. 31 and planned a department head meeting for that day.
“With Lisa’s medical situation, the board wanted her to focus on getting well,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said. “She’s really been trying to be a hero by coming in — and I think she’s ended up causing more problems [for herself] by coming in — so we really said to her, ‘You need to take care of yourself and we want to give you the opportunity to do that.’ But we need to steady the ship and bring somebody in to make sure we’re getting the day-to-day business done.”
Green will be using sick and vacation time while she recovers as preferable to the rules of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Te board will figure out a transitional period back to the office when she is better.
“There might be a time wen she is working remotely part-time and Mr. Donovan is working part-time and then at some point, she’ll come back to the office,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said.
Donovan should be a good fit as he helps the board catch up and keep up with work while Green is out, she said.
“We were impressed. He has a great sense of humor, which is going to stand him in good stead. … He knows his priority is to get the Town Meeting warrant done and he knows what he’s coming into and what’s expected of him.”
Selectman Jim Hickey said he agreed that Donovan was very knowledgeable.
“Right now, the most important thing for us is Town Meeting, and he’s been through it many times,” Hickey said.
Donovan will be working with the Hanson Select Board full-time for the first couple of weeks to onboard the new administrative assistant and potentially beyond a couple of weeks, if town business requires it.
“The thought process is he’ll pull back to 20 hours a week and be on-call full-time at no charge to the town unless he physically has to come into the office,” she said.
The Select Board voted on Tuesday, Aug. 30, to appoint Jake Matyi as temporary administrative assistant and intern to the town administrator, and Lynn McDowell as the new executive assistant to the town administrator. Select Board member Anne Rein was away on a long-planned vacation Tuesday.
“We’re hopeful that, between [Donovan] and Jake and Lynn, we’ll get things back on track at the office,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said. “We can’t wait for you to start,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said of McDowell’s Wednesday, Sept. 7 start date. McDowell attended the Aug. 30 meeting.
Matyi, who was not in attendance at the meeting is a student at Bridgewater State University, who will be stepping in to serve for about five to six weeks to assist in the town administrator’s office.
In other business, the board approved a conditional offer of employment to police officer Michael S. Maliff Jr., to fill a vacancy, which opened when an officer transferred out of the department in June, according Chief Michael Miksch. Maliff must pass the required medical and psychological exams and a background check before officially joining the Hanson Police Department.
“Normally, I get 50-plus résumés and letters, and we got, like, 20,” Miksch said. Of those 20 applicants, about six met the minimum requirements posted, but 10 were interviewed, based on their backgrounds.
“Mike Maliff is the one who came out on top,” he said.
Maliff grew up in Whitman and is a graduate of WHRHS. He is currently an officer on the Oak Bluffs Police Department on Martha’s Vineyard, where he has served since 2013. He is working on his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
“One of the things that’s impressive with Michael is he’s part of the drug task force [on the Vineyard], so he’s done some detective work, and he’s also a field training officer,” Miksch said, noting that, ironically, he will have to go through field training with the Hanson department. “He’s fully academy trained, which will save us a lot of money … he looks like he’ll be a very good fit for the department.”