HANSON — Former Whitman interim Town Administrator Lisa Green has been hired to fill that role in Hanson after interviewing with the Hanson Board of Selectmen for an interim post on Tuesday, April 13.
Town Administrator John Stanbrook had submitted his resignation to the board in executive session that night, effective June 1, which the Selectmen accepted with regret.
The Board of Selectmen voted to make Green a conditional offer, pending a background review and agreement on a contract.
“Thank you for this opportunity and I will do the best job I can for the town of Hanson,” she said.
“After speaking with Lisa and after listening to her answer these questions tonight, I know that I would support her in this role and I would be very excited to have her come aboard, work with John and continue to be the town of Hanson’s interim administrator,” Chairman Kenny Mitchell said.
Selectmen were told on April 6 that MRI, the firm that conducted the last Town Administrator search, has indicated their current fee to conduct a search is $9,800, reduced by $1,000 because the town had used their services to hire Stanbrook less than two years ago.
“They seem to think there’s some real good talent out there for a replacement for the town administrator,” Mitchell said at the time.
MRI said their process would take about 12 weeks.
He and Hickey sat down with Green recently to discuss her interest and ability to take on an interim position in Hanson.
“Her answers to both those questions was yes,” Mitchell said. “Either way, we’re going to need an interim.”
Selectman Jim Hickey argued that evening to “put that $8,000 on hold with MRI” and interview Green about coming on board to help the town.
“We know Lisa,” he said April 6. “Lisa knows us, which is kind of a nice feeling.”
That discussion led to an invitation to Green to interview with the board this week.
Mitchell told Green the board had her résumé and would be asking a few questions, beginning with his about why she felt she should be hired.
Green said she grew up in Brockton, spending a lot of time in Whitman and Hanson and is very familiar with the town. She allowed that Hanson has its challenges, as far as economic development and financial challenges.
“I feel I can bring a lot to the table to start working to address the challenges in those areas,” she said, stressing her experience in grant writing and management.
“I’m very passionate about municipal government,” she said. “I really want to see the town succeed in all different ways.”
Mitchell also asked how she would deal with the town’s fiscal challenge and she said the town needs to have a discussion with the schools as to where they can bring their costs down.
She said she has already been looking at town finances to determine where economizing can be done from Hanson’s side.
“It’s mainly looking to where we can reduce expenses,” she said. “We also need to look into revenue sources that the town has not tapped into yet.”
She said she is fully prepared to get information out to residents about why an override is needed.
Hickey asked what she knew about the board members or personnel in town departments as well as her interest in the job over the long term, in view of the town’s past record of changeover in administrators — a topic she had brought up in prior discussions with him.
“You all have a passion for Hanson and for what you do. … Everybody is volunteering their time for the good of Hanson … and I look forward to working with you all,” she said about the board and town employees. “We all have the same goal of making Hanson a better place for the residents.”
In terms of her future, she noted she has lived in Whitman for 20 years without a history of “job jumping.”
After working in travel, she went to law school when the industry hit the wall post-9/11, and discovered a love of municipal government and when “things went in a different direction with the town of Whitman I made a decision to leave.”
“I left a federal job, which not many people do,” she said when the assistant town administrator job became available.
“I will stay on as long as you allow me to stay on,” she said.
Selectman Matt Dyer asked Green to review her greatest strengths and weaknesses, as well as to review a difficult decision.
“Some of my strengths are my passions, my tenacity to, once I get an idea in my head, I want to see it through. Resilience is another,” she said. “No matter how many times you get knocked down, you have to get back up.” She also admitted that tenacity could be counted as a weakness.
She recounted an investigation she was charged with making into a complaint about the inappropriate behavior of some town employees hired to work a Town Meeting during a session.
Green said she would prioritize the town budget as well as meeting town employees and preparing for Town Meeting, in response to a question from Selectman Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett about her first goals in the job. She said her management style is a collaborative one.
“I’m not a micro-manager,” she said, beyond making clear what the expectations are. Communication with residents is also extremely important, she said.
Selectman Wes Blauss asked for an example of her mentoring someone coming into the field. She said she had done that when she worked for Social Security’s general counsel’s office.