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Nutfield News • April 15, 2010

Search Firm Chosen to Find New Town Administrator

ADAM COUGHLIN

NUTFIELD NEWS

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The hiring of a new town

administrator will begin to pick up speed, now that the town council followed the recommendation of the town’s Human Resources Director and voted to hire Municipal Resources, Inc. (MRI) of Meredith to lead the search.

The need for a new town administrator arose following the announcement that Gary Stenhouse would retire in July. As a result, Director of Human Resources and Admin- istration Larry Budreau issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for executive search services on Feb. 9. The target- ed hiring date coincides with Stenhouse’s retirement around July 1.

According to Budreau,

the town sought proposals for “varying levels of service, ranging from a complete

ADAM COUGHLIN

NUTFIELD NEWS

search package to include profiling the position, re- cruiting, interviewing, negoti- ating, etc., to an administra- tive services only package.” Budreau received seven proposals. Six of them, according to Budreau, are similar to each other in that they define the town’s expec- tation of the job and describe the characteristics of an ideal candidate, recruit through networking and advertise- ment, and facilitate the screening and selection process.

In trying to narrow down

the firms, Budreau first elimi- nated the Local Government Center’s (LGC) proposal of $7,200, which was by far the cheapest, but excluded in- volvement in the initial profil- ing or defining of the role and ideal qualities of the future town administrator. The can- didate screening for LGC was also limited to resume review.

The town council voted unanimously to renew the Public Health Network Grant for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012, which would keep the staff in place who dealt with the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccina- tion this past year. Garrett Simonsen, public health network coordinator, addressed the council at its April 6 meeting and said funding for the grant comes from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and does not

impact Derry’s operating budget. The town has received the grant since 2006. The town benefits from

the regional operations and from the presence of public health personnel stationed in Derry, according to Simon- sen.

Budreau then eliminated proposals from firms outside of New Hampshire and the Boston-area. This included CPS HR Services, based in Washington, D.C. and had a proposal of $12,800; Randi Frank Consulting, LLC of Wallingford, Conn., at $14,000; and Waters-Oldani Executive Recruitment of Dallas, Texas, which had the most expensive proposal at $15,500.

That left Collins Center for Public Management,which is part of the University of Massachusetts and has a director who previously worked with Bennet Yarger, the firm that helped hire Stenhouse; MMA Consulting Group of Brookline, Mass., and MRI. The three firms’ bids ranged from $12,000 to $12,500, each with additional charges for advertising and travel. While Budreau said any of the three firms would do a good job, he recom-

Council Renews Public Health Network Grant

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During Fiscal Year 2010, the PHN administered 3,000 H1N1 vaccinations at more than 20 clinics in the region, 12 of them in Derry, accord- ing to Simonsen. “The infrastructure, sup-

The Public Health

Network (PHN) coordinates and facilitates activities in the region to plan for public health emergences, partici- pates in local health assess- ments to better understand how community health impacts emergency planning and response, and does a vari- ety of other tasks.

plies, plans and personnel that were available were a tangible result of the work funded by the PHN grants,” Simonsen told the council. The council agreed with Simonsen that the grant was beneficial to the town and voted 7-0 to renew the Public Health Network grant for $70,000 for each of the next two years.

mended MRI. “They are a New Hampshire firm, know New Hampshire municipalities well and the New England region well, and should be extensively networked with potential candidates in the area,” he said.

Another selling point to

Budreau was MRI’s offer to guarantee its work, which only three of the responding firms did. This means if a town administrator is hired but quits or is fired before 18 months, MRI would conduct a new search for only the cost of expenses.

Councilor Kevin Coyle

asked Budreau at the April 6 council meeting why he so quickly eliminated the LGC. Budreau responded that it is helpful when a company comes in and paints the pic- ture of the perfect candidate. Coyle asked if Budreau had

asked the LGC if it were will- ing to create such a profile and Budreau said he had not. He added that he did not consider LGC to be as qualified as MRI or others because most of its staff are in human resources, while the other companies have staff who have worked in town adminis- tration. Coyle said the extra $5,000 to include a profile of a potential candidate was a lot of money and was something the council could do with Budreau. He noted Bennet Yarger had created a profile and the council could use that as a springboard.

Councilor Joel Olbricht said it could be difficult for the councilors to create such a profile because they are so close to the situation, and pre- ferred someone impartial. Coyle also wanted to make sure the search wasn’t

limited to New Hampshire. Chair Brad Benson agreed, saying he wanted the search to cover all of New England. Councilor Janet Fairbanks

asked about Fire Chief George Klauber’s connection with MRI. Budreau said the chief has worked as an inde- pendent contractor with the company, with his last project ending in 2009.

“I’m ready to get to work in hiring a new town adminis- trator,” Olibricht said. “Let’s get into this process and get it done.”

Councilor David Milz agreed and said he trusted the expertise of Budreau and did- n’t need to interview the firms, as Coyle had suggest- ed.

The Council voted 5-1-1,

with Coyle dissenting and Fairbanks abstaining, to hire MRI to conduct the search for a new town administrator.

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