, Salem, MA

March 28, 2014

Letter: Disappointed in lack of administrator search

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

It seems the Wenham selectmen do not intend to keep their promise to appoint a search committee for a town administrator but instead will give Mark Andrews a three-year contact at their meeting on April 1. What a fitting date for that decision!

Two years ago with just a month until the town meeting, then-Selectmen Molly Martins, Patrick Wilson and John Clemenzi appointed Mr. Andrews as the interim town administrator after interviewing a few candidates willing to accept our four-month temporary position and performing only a cursory reference check befitting this appointment.

The selectmen then and several times last year promised the town citizens that they would conduct a search for a town administrator that included the community in a search committee and would make appropriate comprehensive reference checks. The process of soliciting feedback on the needs of the community and involving them in the process of selecting a town administrator is a best practice for town government. Our neighboring communities of Ipswich, Manchester and Topsfield conducted successful searches for top town leadership in this manner during the past two years. It is also the process the School Committee employed in selecting our current superintendent. Qualified candidates want to work in our community.

It appears the selectmen will turn away from their promise and established best practices. Instead, they will appoint Mr. Andrews without any input from Wenham residents. I, for one, am disappointed.

Michelle Bailey