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Selectmen Hear from Residents Concerning New Town Manager Recruitment

A room full of Upton residents came out to listen to what the Board of Selectmen had to say regarding the recruitment and hiring process for the new Town Manager. The informational meeting took place on February 27.

Blythe Robinson served as the community's first Town Manager for more than six years but resigned several months ago after taking a position in Wellesley. Since then, Robert Reed has been serving as the interim Town Manager until a new individual is hired.

The Selectmen hired Municipal Resources Inc. (MRI) to conduct the recruitment process for the executive position. MRI President Alan Gould and MRI Senior Consultant Bob Mercier were also in attendance that evening. According to Selectman Chair James Brochu, the meeting was set up in order for residents "to provide feedback to set up a profile that is correct for the Town of Upton and correct in choosing the next Town Manager."

Brochu explained that MRI will complete the profile to seek out candidates and then narrow down those candidates to approximately 20. From there, MRI and the town's Screening Committee will work together to narrow down the pool again to the top candidates. Eventually, those candidates will be presented and interviewed by the Board of Selectmen.

Resident Jim Bates Jr., opened up the dialogue recommending all read what the current job description for the position is. "We have a minimum requirement for our Town Manager," he said. Gould explained that he understood there were qualifications that must be met, but "The ideal candidate may have credentials that surpass that. We want to establish a rather high bar."

Resident Mike Marchand suggested that before the process goes any farther, the town's charter, which includes the Town Manager's Act, be reviewed first to determine if changes need to be made. Brochu explained it could take up to 18 months to review the Act, vote in any changes, and then be approved by the state. It was also explained a charter review evaluates the entire governmental structure of the town, not just the Town Manager's Act.

Resident Camille Hamlet noted that Upton is trying to figure out what type of community it wants to be and that's something the new Town Manager needs to be aware of. "I think Upton doesn't know who it is right now," she said. "It's a small community; do we want to be big? We need to decide what we want to embrace."

Residents unable to attend the meeting but who would like to provide input on the new Town Manager's position may also email uptontm@mrigov.com.




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