Council to Use Recruitment Firm to Hire Administrator

The Derry Town Council will begin its search for a new Town Administrator with the help of an outside firm.

The Council voted 7-0 at its Nov. 3 meeting to authorize Interim Town Administrator Susan Hickey to solicit proposals from recruitment firms.

The former Town Administrator, Galen Stearns, was terminated without cause by the Council after a public hearing last week. His appointment in October 2014 came after two searches conducted by the Council as a money-saving measure.

At the Nov. 3 meeting, the Council discussed hiring a professional municipal search firm to find its next Administrator.

Councilor Richard Tripp said he wanted to see more than one firm considered. “One is not a choice, it’s a mandate,” Tripp said. “I believe the best course is for the Interim Town Administrator to search for management firms, and we pick the most qualified.”

“We decided to do it ourselves to save the taxpayers money,” Councilor David Fischer said. “Without belaboring the issue, it was a valuable learning experience. We got to know the quality of the candidates and the parameters we were looking for.”

But, Fischer said, “I support a search with a professional management firm.”

Councilor Mark Osborne agreed.

“It is the way to go,” Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores said.

“It was a learning experience,” Chairman Tom Cardon said. “It took a lot of time and a lot of effort.”

Fischer cautioned that engaging an outside firm would be accompanied by “Doing an RFP (Request for Proposals) and seeking out a number of agencies.”

The Council voted unanimously to direct Hickey to solicit proposals.

The Council also voted unanimously to renew Hickey’s appointment as Interim Town Administrator.