Chief Financial Officer Susan Hickey will serve as Interim Town Administrator in the wake of the departure of Town Administrator Galen Stearns for medical reasons.
Hickey, who has worked for Derry since December 2014, was appointed in a two-hour closed session Wednesday night, July 22.
The Council first met in a nonpublic at 6 p.m. to discuss the eight referendum petitions with their attorneys (see related story page 2). They came out of nonpublic at 7 p.m. and convened the second meeting, to discuss appointing an interim administrator. Michael Fowler, head of the Department of Public Works, had been named interim by Stearns before Stearns left on Friday.
After the meeting, Town Council Chairman Tom Cardon declined to comment on the appointment. On Thursday morning, July 23, he said that Hickey was chosen over Fowler because while “Mike does a terrific job,” summer is Fowler’s busiest time with paving and mowing. “He has a lot of huge projects going on, and we thought he would be more valuable to the town if he continued to work on them.”
Asked if Hickey would receive extra compensation, Cardon said, “Ms. Hickey’s salary will be commensurate with the position.”
The Nutfield News requested Hickey’s new salary in an RSA 91-A request sent to both Hickey and Cardon on Friday, July 24. Catherine St. Ledger, the Town’s Human Resources Coordinator, responded that day and said Hickey will be paid $2,211.54 per week as Acting Town Administrator.
Cardon wrote in a press release, “Last night the Derry Town Council voted to hire Sue Hickey as Interim Town Administrator. Ms. Hickey is currently the town’s Chief Financial Officer. She has an extensive resume and experience in municipal government. This experience includes finance, human resources, accounting and auditing. Additionally she has served as an Assistant Town Administrator and Interim Town Administrator. Ms. Hickey has solid leadership and communication skills and is eager to help move Derry forward. I believe she is highly qualified for this position and because she is a current employee will be able to immediately start working on the needs of the town.”
Cardon said it was “too early to know” if and when the Council would start a search for a new Town Administrator.
Hickey was hired as Derry’s Chief Financial Officer by the Town Council on Dec. 2, 2014, with a salary of $106,000.
Hickey earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Master’s of Business Administration degree from Southern New Hampshire University.
She began her finance career at Melanson, Heath and Co., as a Senior Accountant and Auditor. She then served as Finance Director for Goffstown and began her association with Londonderry in 2001, where she was Finance Director until late 2014. She was also assistant town manager in Londonderry from 2004-12.