Town Looking For Manager Screening Candidates
The town will add four more residents to the existing five-member panel to screen applicants for the Narragansett Town Manager position.
At Monday night's meeting, the Narragansett Town Council approved a request from residents to add four more members to its town manager hiring committee for town manager applicants.
The four new spots will also be open – Applications are available on the town's website. The council is then scheduled to appoint members at a July 16 meeting. There are several conditions though for applying:
- Must be a town resident.
- Can't be a town employee, or a relative of a town employee or town councilor.
- Must provided a resume.
- Two members of the screening committee cannot also be on the same town board. (i.e. Two members of the Planning Board couldn't also be on the screening committee.)
- All applicants must pass a background check by the Narragansett Police Department.
- Applications are due by noon on Friday, July 13.
On Monday, the council approved its five initial appointees, with each councilor briefly speaking in support of their nominee – Nancy Devaney (Susan Cicilline-Buonanno), Will Shields (Alisa Trainor Fleet), Ed Mazze (Christopher Wilkens), Susan Robertson (Glenna Hagopian) and Anthony Catuogno (David Crook).
Audience members seemed to be familiar with all of the nominees, excluding Robertson. Hagopian said that Robertson works with her as management at Citizens Bank. Robertson also has a LinkedIn profile here.
The modification to the hiring committee came after about an hour of debate and public comment, with most in the audience asking for more residents to put be on the committee. After a short amount of discussion about the number, councilors settled on a total of nine members instead of 10, to avoid any ties.
The role of the committee will be to review applications for town manager, and to forward qualified candidates to the town council for possible interviews.
Councilors also took public input on job expectations for the new manager. Cicilline-Buonanno stressed that she wanted a tool to objectively measure whoever the next manager is.
“I think Narragansett, like other communities, needs an evaluation tool to look at the town manager,” she said. “I want it based on data and performance and scoring from the council.”
Councilors said they would explore replicating South Kingstown's current method, which has a public work session to get status updates from Town Manager Steve Alford before the regular meeting.
The council also approved to advertise the position at $95,000 to $120,000, as opposed to the previous range, which was capped at $105,000.
According to interim town manager Dean Hoxsie, Portsmouth has the most similar demographics in the state to Narragansett and recently hired a manager for about $114,000. Salaries ranged for other communities – South Kingstown ($150,000), Westerly ($114,000), Newport ($137,000) and North Kingstown ($111,000).
EDIT 6:12 p.m. July 5 - Added information to clarify that applications are due Friday, July 13, as opposed to Friday, July 5.