Selectmen renew efforts to hire town admin, plannerBy Mike Berger
Selectmen recently received a double-whammy of bad news that will require the board to restart the process of hiring both a new town administrator and a new town planner.
Selectmen announced that they were unable to come to terms on a contract with their top choice for town administrator, Kimberly Newman, who decided to remain in her position as the Mendon town administrator. In addition, Tim Richard, the current town planner, has submitted his letter of resignation after accepting a position in a different industry.
Richard’s last day working for the town is January 29. In his resignation letter, he said he was offered a position that is “more suited to [his] skills and future career goals and objectives.”
Newman at first voiced great excitement and enthusiasm about taking the Canton job. However, Selectmen Chairman John Connolly said both the town and Newman could not agree on a new contract. Sources told the Citizen that both sides had differences of opinion on salary, benefits and hours, with Newman wanting a contract similar or comparable to that of current Town Administrator Bill Friel, who has served in that role for more than 25 years. Friel, who previously planned to retire at the end of January, has agreed to stay on until the end of March.
Newman has been Mendon’s town administrator since 2014 and previously served as city administrator for Lyndon, Kansas, for four years.
Reached by the Citizen, Newman said it was “unfortunate” that the two sides were unable to come to terms on a contract. “I was looking forward to joining the community,” she said. “Ultimately, my decision was based on what was viable for my family. Canton is a great town and I will still enjoy spending time there when I visit my sister. I thank the board for their consideration and I wish them luck in their search for a new administrator.”
Connolly said the search will begin immediately, and selectmen will ask the prior screening committee to meet again …
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