Update on town manager search

By Doug Merrill

The 15-person Shelburne Town Manager Search Committee has met three times over the past five weeks to begin the process of selecting the next manager. The committee intends to share updates in the Shelburne News periodically to update fellow residents on our process and progress.

The Selectboard has tasked us with assisting in the search process by defining the attributes, skills and competencies that we are seeking in our next town manager, identifying and reviewing candidates who meet these criteria, and narrowing the field to the final candidates for the Selectboard to interview.

To ensure fairness and transparency while remaining effective, our communications will be through the paper and in meeting agendas and minutes posted to the town’s website at shelburnevt.org/482/Town-Manager-Search-Committee. Each meeting has a public comment section.

Once we begin to review specific candidates who have applied for the position, however, we will need to make use of executive sessions so that the board can hold discussions while maintaining the applicants’ confidentiality.

So far the group has elected Roger Preis and Kathy Brooks as co-chairs, drafted a list of important attributes for a town manager, and decided to enlist the assistance of a consulting firm to aid in the search for a town manager.

The attributes are, in no particular order:

• Strong fiscal management and government policy /relations experience

• Good communicator: Clear, respectful, and shows appreciation

• Strong leader: Collaborative and participatory

• High integrity: A values-driven individual who can create a positive vision for Shelburne

We have yet to choose a consulting firm, and have had a subcommittee put together a request for proposal for consulting companies.

There is a cost, and we were mindful that any cost is important to justify. Our underlying theme in our search for a town manager is to “cast a very wide net” to develop the deepest possible talent pool possible. We know from our prior efforts that the more choices we have, the better the likely finalists will be.

We agreed to send the request to at least six firms, focusing on firms with operations and experience working in New England.

The request for proposal will be sent out this week and is due back by June 12. The group decided to meet again at 6 p.m. on June 18. This will give committee members an opportunity to review the responses prior to the meeting.

The request for proposals has been sent out and responses are due back by June 12. The search committee meets next at 6 p.m. on June 18.

We strongly encourage participation and accept questions, comments and general feedback.

Doug Merrill is a member of the Shelburne Town Manager Search Committee.

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