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Irene Larivee Named New Town Treasurer

Irene Larivee. Nicole Harnishfeger photo, copyright by The Inquirer and Mirror.

The Board of Selectmen voted 2-1 on March 17 to name Irene Larivee–former finance director for the Town of Nantucket and now living in Cumberland, R.I–to become the new Town Treasurer, bypassing Acting Town Treasurer Kelly Capece. Selectman Brian Murray pushed for Capece's appointment, saying she had devoted her entire career to the Treasurer's Department and noting that the board recently promoted from within when naming a new fire chief.

Selectman Dino DeBartolomeis made the motion to appoint Larivee, saying her resume and interview left him impressed. "This person can come in and not miss a beat," he said. "I was very impressed by her presentation and her depth in answering questions." The town's "financial team" will be made even stronger by Larivee's appointment, DeBartolomeis said. His motion was seconded by Chairman William Buckley, who called Larivee "the more experienced and capable and seasoned candidate."

Murray's motion to appoint Capece received no second. He supported Capece because she worked her way up from an entry-level position in the Treasurer's office department to the top position. "I'm very impressed with Kelly's work ethic," he said. "She's got a degree in the office of the Treasurer in the Town of Milford. She's earned it over the past 27 years. I think she's the best candidate going forward."

Selectmen interviewed three finalists: Capece, Larivee and Northbridge's Town Accountant, Neil Vaidya. Larivee joined Nantucket's government in 2007 as a municipal budget analyst and became its finance director in 2011. Prior to that, she worked in corporate finance. On Nantucket, Larivee was noted for "her sharp attention to detail, keen insight into the budget and a no-nonsense communication style," according to the island's newspaper, The Inquirer and Mirror.

"I always approach everything like an analyst," she told board members. Larivee said she would spend her first two to four weeks on the job on Milford by watching and analyzing how things work before making any recommendations to change things. Her experience on Nantucket included managing health insurance and reducing debt service expenses from 16 percent of the operating budget to 10 percent. When the island was confronted with budget problems, she focused first on what revenues the town had, so it would know what services it could afford, Larivee said.

Capece joined the Treasurer's Department right out of high school. "I've been in the Treasurer's office my whole working career," she said. "I'm ready to take over as treasurer." During her tenure, "I've been involved in pretty much everything in that office." Once Larivee's contract is finalized, Capece will return to her position as Assistant Treasurer.


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