BERLIN - Jack Healy will become interim town manager as of May 2 for up to 180 days. He is currently temporary town manager, public works director and town engineer.
The Town Council’s decision came in a 6-0 vote, with councilor Kristin Campanelli absent, at Tuesday’s meeting. Healy will continue to fulfill his responsibilities as public works director and town engineer during the interim term.
“The temporary town manager position by the town charter is allowed to be there for 90 days, after which time typically ... the temporary town manager (moves) to the interim town manager,” said Healy as he presented the agenda item to the council. “This is the move to make that change.”
The action came after Healy was appointed temporary town manager, for a term not to exceed 90 days, starting Feb. 1, at a Jan. 3 meeting in which a separation agreement between previous Town Manager Denise McNair was accepted by the council in a 4-3 vote along party lines with Republicans in the majority. The 90-days period ends May 1.
As part of the separation agreement, McNair is receiving $65,686, or six months of her old contract with the town. The agreement took effect in February and also includes medical insurance for McNair and two other people between February and November of this year, McNair and one other person from December 2017 through May 2018, and only for McNair from June 2018 to July 2019.
Healy has been receiving a $3,000 monthly stipend in addition to his $114,108 annual salary as public works director and town engineer, and will continue to receive it as interim town manager, Mayor Mark Kaczynski said last Thursday.
Healy has previously said he is not interested in the full-time town manager position as he is a resident of Litchfield and doesn’t want to move to Berlin, disrupting his family.
Kaczynski said the town has received about four or five applications for the permanent town manager position but the Town Council has been concentrating on the budget process and hasn’t had the opportunity to discuss them.
“Obviously, the 90 days will run out before we continue with our plan for the search, so that’s the plan for this item,” said Kaczynski.
The town will consider extending Healy’s term as interim manager if a permanent replacement is not found within the 180 days period, Kaczynski said.
The town also has several executive search firms bidding to help it find and hire a permanent town manager. They are listed on the town website, town.berlin.ct.us, under the “more” section of “Recent News & Announcements,” in the document titled, “BID #2017-22 Executive Search Consultant Bid Results.”
The nine firms have fees ranging from $17,500 to $27,000 and will be narrowed to three or four before a final choice is made, Kaczynski said.
A search committee made up of the seven members of the council and Human Resources Director Denise Parsons was formed at a Jan. 17 council meeting to find a permanent replacement for McNair.
Kaczynski and the council set a meeting for the committee to discusses the process next Wednesday at 6:30 in the Town Council Chambers, contingent on Parson’s availability. The meeting will be held in executive session, as all previous ones have been, which are closed to the public.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.