Greetings Fellow Town of Harford Citizens,
On behalf of the Town of Hartford Town Manager Search Committee (TMSC) I wanted to share with you the progress we have made since our inaugural meeting on August 12th. Over the course of a few meetings we extensively discussed whether there was the need to engage a professional Executive Search firm to handle all of the details of the actual search for qualified applicants. As there are so many things involved in the process and so many things that would be beyond the realm of a citizen's search group, we unanimously agreed on the need to do so. With some advice from state, regional and national consulting groups and some local experiences, we sought out a few firms in the Executive Search Industry specializing in public administration and specifically Town and City management. After reviewing some of these firm's credentials we actively sought out proposals from them to do the search. We received 3 extensive proposals including the steps and processes they will provide us along the way, time frames for the completion of the task, their guarantees or assurances to us and expected costs for the services they provide. After careful review of their proposals and side to side comparisons, motions were made and approved to make the following requests of the Select Board: 1) To request a budget not to exceed $25,000 for the purpose of hiring an Executive Search Firm, 2) to approve and authorize the Search Committee to select the Executive Search Firm and move forward in engaging with that firm; and 3) To Authorize the Interim Town Manager to execute contract paperwork on behalf of the Select Board as recommended by the Town Manager Search Committee. Those requests were presented to the Select Board at their meeting Tuesday evening, 9/15 and after some questions and dialogue the SB approved all of the requests. At our TMSC meeting last evening we unanimously chose the firm which will remain unnamed until we have contacted them and the other firms to let them know of our decision. We will let you know the firm chosen within the next few days.
While the above referenced Executive Search Firm discussions, reviews and recommendations required some significant time commitments, we have also been doing a number of other very important things to follow the SB's charge and instructions given to the TMSC that were adopted at the 7/7/15 SB meeting. First and foremost, we have begun our community engagement efforts and reaching out to a variety of constituencies for their feedback and input on the desired qualities, leadership styles, experiences and skill sets they would like to see in our new town manager. We began that process by developing a formal feedback form that has been, and will be disseminated to these individuals and groups in many different ways. We started with the Town's department heads and a few of the TMSC members met with them and received some very informative commentary from their important perspectives. Although we received their formal feedback forms and will archive them accordingly, the actual meeting and discussion that ensued was a great help to us and will help guide us in the overall search process.
We next will meet with individual town employees and a few school district administrators over the next week or two after receiving their feedback forms which have been given to them by the department heads and the Interim Town Manager or directly by us. We hope to get some different perspectives and some candid assessments from them as they all will work directly or indirectly with our new town manager.
We have plans to develop a slightly different feedback form for the business community and community citizens at large and hope to utilize some public forums, the Town website, the Chamber of Commerce and other avenues to get as many people engaged in the process as possible. We hope to accomplish this aspect of our mission before the end of October but no later than mid-November.
I hope that we can keep you, the members of our community as informed as possible along the way. If you have any questions, I am available most anytime. My direct office phone number at Mascoma Savings Bank is 802-280-4209. My home number is 802-295-7324. If I'm not immediately available, leave a message and I'll return your call as soon as possible.
Thanks and regards to all of you,
Kevin Raleigh, Town of Hartford, TMSC Chair