SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 1, 2013

Wenham hires firm to develop budget

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff writer

---- — WENHAM — After receiving only one bid, selectmen last week unanimously voted to hire a private financial firm to run the Finance Department on a temporary basis.

Selectmen Chairwoman Molly Martins said Baystate Municipal Services Group Inc. has been contracted by the town until July 31.

“We are confident that they will do a good job for us in providing the services we need on a temporary basis,” she said.

The firm’s hiring is part of a transition plan to get the town through the budget process after Finance Director Paula Bartlett resigned earlier this month to accept a job from a former employer.

Several other companies expressed interest in the contract but either didn’t have the staffing or experience with the town’s accounting software, according to interim Town Administrator Mark Andrews.

Martins said the board will discuss at future meetings how to fill Bartlett’s position.

Bartlett, who was promoted to the job permanently this summer after serving as the department’s interim director, is the third director to leave Town Hall in three years. Her salary was $78,000.

Martins said the board spent a fair amount of time checking references and doing research on Baystate Municipal Services before hiring the firm.

“When we took up the vote, nobody had concerns that were unanswered,” she said.