After the abrupt departure of Hanover Town Manager Troy Clarkson on Friday, Nov. 3, the process of finding his replacement began Monday night.
Selectmen met with two consulting firms at their meeting Monday night - Groux-White Consulting, LLC and Municipal Research Inc. - and will meet with two others - Community Paradigm Associates and Edward J Collins Center for Public Management - on Wednesday, Nov. 15 before a meeting scheduled at Hanover High School to discuss the National Fireworks factory site cleanup.
A consulting firm would help assemble the search committees and supervise the entire process. Committees are typically formed with different members of the community to help hire town managers and administrators and usually consist of between seven-to-nine members. They are comprised typically of former selectmen, former school committee members and “people of influence.”
“I read in the newspaper about Troy leaving and we wrote an article to the selectmen about things to consider if you are considering hiring an executive search firm,” said Richard White of Groux-White Consulting. “I sent it to all of the selectmen individually and said if you have any questions, we are happy to answer them with no obligations. We were asked to come in to make our pitch and prior to that we made our proposal.”
There are always different reasons for town managers and administrators leaving a job and someone leaving before the end of a contract ends up happening in roughly 30 percent of situations, according to White.
Clarkson’s contract was set to expire in April 2018 and selectmen voted three-to-two at the beginning of September in opposition to extending the contract.
According to Tom Groux of Groux-White Consulting, the plan they outlined for selectmen would take roughly 18 weeks from their hiring to the hiring of a new town manager.
In Hanover’s case, and in many cases, according to White, the assistant town manager steps in as the interim town manager. Tony Marino assumed that role after Clarkson’s departure. White said that often times a respected and trusted major department head steps into that role.
“What Tony is going through right now and will go through until a replacement is hired is triage,” said White. “He deals with the most important issues that need to be dealt with and some of the longer-term things that can be delayed will be delayed because of lack of staffing. Generally, the interims deal with what needs to be dealt with immediately, but the town doesn’t necessarily engage in the long-term planning and work that needs to happen behind the scenes.”
Follow Adam Silva on Twitter at @AdamSMariner.