Published in the October 25, 2017 edition


LYNNFIELD — The Board of Selectmen has begun laying the groundwork for finding a new town administrator in the event of Jim Boudreau accepts the same position in Scituate.

During last week’s meeting, the selectmen voted unanimously to create the Town Administrator Search Committee as part of a back-up plan in case Boudreau bolts for Scituate. Boudreau was offered the job earlier this month.

“I think it’s important for the town of Lynnfield to move quickly on this,” said Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett. “This is conditional. If it does not turn out well for Jim in Scituate, this is something we will not need.”

Barrett reached out to eight people to see if they would be interested in serving on the search committee. He said the search committee will recommend three finalists to the selectmen.

“The committee would have seven members and one alternate,” said Barrett. “I am confident this search committee will proposed three good candidates for the town of Lynnfield to consider.”

Barrett will serve as the chairman of the Town Administrator Search Committee. In addition to serving as a selectman for the past two-and-a-half years, Barrett served a three-year term on the School Committee. He is also Everett High School’s vice principal and is the father of two children attending Huckleberry Hill School.

In addition to Barrett, Town Moderator and Fields Committee Chairman Arthur Bourque will serve on the search committee. Bourque, who has been town moderator since 2012, served four terms on the Board of Selectmen, taking place from 1992-1998 and 2006-2012. He is also a retired State Trooper and owned a security company.

School Committee member and Recreation Commission Chairman Rich Sjoberg will serve on the committee as well. He is the father of three children attending Huckleberry Hill School, Lynnfield Middle School and Lynnfield High School. He is also the principal owner of Richard A. Sjoberg and Associates, LCC.

Former Selectman David Nelson will also serve on the search committee. Nelson, who served a term on the Board of Selectmen, is a former member of the Board of Assessors and has a daughter attending LHS. While Nelson was a selectman, Barrett said he played a key role in the “successful search” that led to Boudreau’s hiring.

Donna Hegan will serve on the search committee as well. Hegan is a former school administrator who works at Union Hospital.

“Donna is a strong community leader,” said Barrett.

Former Finance Committee member and local businessman David Basile will also serve on the search committee. Natasha Anderson will be serving on the search committee as well. She is an executive at a staffing agency and is the mother of a child attending Summer Street School.

Finance Committee and MarketStreet Advisory Committee member Gene Covino will serve as the search committee’s alternate member. Barrett noted Covino has children enrolled in the school system and is “very active in the community.”

As part of the process of developing the search committee, Barrett said he was trying to have “every area of the community” be represented.

Selectman Dick Dalton expressed his support for the search committee.

“This truly represents a blue ribbon committee,” said Dalton. “What I think is good about this approach is we are not wasting any time assuming Jim does accept the position down in Scituate. The last thing we want to do is take unnecessary time to organize things.”

Selectman Phil Crawford agreed.

“There is no question there is a time factor,” said Crawford. “If Jim does agree to a contract, we have 45 days. We have to keep that in mind.”

Due to the time crunch, Crawford suggested the selectmen hire a firm to assist the search committee. The selectmen used the MMA Consulting Group before it hired Boudreau in the fall of 2014.

“There are a couple of good ones around,” said Crawford. “They have the contacts with all of the existing town administrators and they also have the ability to bring in somebody who may not have been contemplating looking at a job in Lynnfield. That is what (MMA head) Mark Morse did on the prior search that we did. He was able to reach out to a lot of sitting town administrators and explained what a great opportunity Lynnfield is. He got them to apply for this job. There is certainly a lot of value in bringing in a professional firm like Mark Morse’s company.”

In a phone interview with the Villager, Barrett said he talked to Boudreau about different consultants the Board of Selectmen should consider utilizing.

In response to a question from Barrett during last week’s meeting, Town Counsel Tom Mullen said Covino’s role would entail “filling in for anybody who had to drop out in the process.”

“Failing that, they could participate in the discussions but not vote,” said Mullen.

“(Covino) should be at all of the meetings so he is up to date,” added Crawford.