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05/11/2022 08:00 AM

A Completely Thorough Process

Just a few comments about last week’s Harbor News article regarding the expiration of the contract with Clinton’s current and first town manager, Karl Kilduff [May 5, “Town Outlines Process with Town Manager Contract Renewal Approaching’]. He is generally regarded as doing a good job so that is not the issue. Council Chair Chris Aniskovich stated that Mr. Kilduff has until July 10tto inform the council, if he wants to stay. If he does then according to Aniskovich, negotiations on a new contract would commence. What is not explicitly said is the flip side of this, where a council might decide they want to change town managers. In that case they must begin a search for a new manager “yesterday”.

This situation requires that a professional search firm be employed as Mr. Aniskovich seemed to support. Such a firm in 2019 did a completely thorough process, which included advertising where professionals look, creating a sales booklet on Clinton, constantly responding to numerous candidates, detailed background checks, personality profiles, reference and résumé checks, video interviews, in-person interviews, creating a two-day plan to meet local stakeholders including town employees, a presentation on their year-one plan if hired, community meet-and-greets, Q&A sessions with community leaders, etc. While a community-based search committee may not be needed as was used in 2019, in my opinion a professional search firm is absolutely required. No civilian group, including the council acting as a search committee, can do this alone as professionally.

As to a suggested charter change to increase the potential length of offered contracts, I believe that would be very smart. A future town manager may need to move here from out of state and no one will do that for only a three-year contract.

Phil Sengle