Cohasset Selectmen vote qualifications for permanent town manager

The Town Manager’s qualifications have been decided on a 3-2 vote. Selectmen want permanent town manager to have 7 years experience in municipal government as a Town of City Manager; or experience in an executive position that oversees the operation of a complex multi-function public entity that is governed by an elected policy body that makes decisions in public.  Minimum requirement is a B.S.  An MBA is preferred. Minimum salary will be $120,000 – but salary is negotiable for the right person.

Select Chair Fred Koed will gather the board’s edits and revisions of the Town’s profile, and submit them to the Collins Recruitment Center this week. The Collins Center will begin to recruit candidates upon receiving the revised Cohasset Town Profile (the title was changed to Cohasset Town Manager Profile, as that it was it morphed into during the interview process).

The qualifications were decided on a three-two vote (Selectmen Karen Quigley, Martha Gjesteby and Fred Koed, chair of the board, voted yes for Option A, above).  Selectmen Steve Gaumer and Vice Chair voted no, saying they were for a less restrictive qualifications that they felt would lead to a greater number of candidates.

Quigley said in her salad days on the board of selectmen (her first term) she used to be on the other side of this discussion. She said she learned during her first term that it is extremely important for town to have an experienced town manager at the helm, a person who understood municipal law and municipal finance.

Gaumer said he wanted someone who was smart enough. He said the town was too small to offer challenges and career development to a candidate with aspirations.

Gjesteby said she wanted someone who come skilled, someone they didn’t have to send to school.

Gaumer said a professional staff would surround the town manager, that he didn’t have to have municipal experience.

Quigley said she thinks Cohasset will attract a number of candidates at different places in their career paths. “It reduces the pool, but it brings in a better qualified candidate.”.

Gaumer: -“By definition it reduces the pool. I disagree with your criteria., you cannot argue point reduces pool of potential candidates.

Quigley: “It doesn’t reduce the pool of qualified candidates.”

“What makes a qualified candidate? I’m looking to hire best and most capable manager I can…the crop I’ve seen come through are not impressive. “The  leadership abilities we seek aren’t contained in a law book.”

“This is a specialized field,” Koed said.

Kennedy noted that Hingham had hired its former finance director as its town manager. “He had been a successful manager of people and after a number of fits and starts with hiring a town administrator, they finally asked him to take the job. He agreed to take certain classes, and he’s working out to be a very good town administrator. Those skills we’re looking for are not necessarily wrapped up in 7 years of experience.”

Quigley pulled out numerous ads that other towns are running for town manager. “BS, MA, five years aggressive experience in municipal finance. We should be advertising for similar qualifications.”

Gjesteby said the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) told her that Cohasset should stay with municipal experience, that we would be in trouble if we hired outside.

Citizen Agnes McCann advised the board to advertise for a candidate with municipal experience.

When Kennedy said the finance director in Hingham would not be able to be a candidate in Cohasset, Quigley said the option the board ultimately voted would actually include the finance director.


© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed