Published in the May 19, 2016 edition
By BOB TUROSZ
NORTH READING — As he is about to complete his second full year as Town Administrator, Michael Gilleberto was given an “Outstanding” job performance evaluation by the Board of Selectmen – the people who hired him, work with him and are known as some of the toughest graders in town.
Gilleberto was appointed as North Reading’s town administrator in May of 2014. He started the job the following August and was given a three–year contract through June 30, 2017. This was his second performance review from the Selectmen and both evaluations have landed him squarely in the the “Outstanding” range. As if to show his Outstanding rating last year was no fluke, Gilleberto’s composite score in five performance categories ticked up this year. In 2015, he received a 203 rating. This year it was 206. Anything above 186 is Outstanding.
The town administrator’s performance is reviewed annually in the month of April by the Selectmen, prior to any potential change in board membership in the May election, which didn’t happen this year. Each Selectman completes the review form and returns it to the chairman who tallies the scores, averages them out and arrives at the final composite rating, which is doubly pertinent because Gilleberto’s contract allows for a 2 percent stipend based on a high performance rating.
Chairman Robert Mauceri explained the T.A. is rated in five different categories:
• Relationship with the Board. Out of a possible 50 points, Gilleberto received a rating of 46.5.
• Fiscal management. Out of a possible 40 points, the T.A. scored 35.9.
• Community and public relations. Out of a possible 40 points, Gilleberto’s rating was 37.0
• Personnel Administration. Out of a possible 50 points, the administrator’s rating was 39.3.
• Professional skills and abilities: Out of possible 50 points, Gilleberto received 47.3.
“This is an excellent performance review. The comments the board members made were extremely positive,” Mauceri said The trends across the board as to how the board members rated the administrator were pretty much “spot on” with Gilleberto’s self–evaluation, he added.
Jeff Yull worked with Gilleberto on the Northeast Municipal Gas Pipeline Coalition and said he observed first–hand the T.A.’s expertise and professionalism. “He represented the town extremely well, very professionally. I think this outstanding rating was appropriate, he’s done very well.”
Stephen O’Leary praised Gilleberto’s communications with the board, which he called a “breath of fresh air.”
“He keeps us well informed and there are no surprises at any of the meetings,” O’Leary said. Additionally, the way Gilleberto handled issues like the Hillview transition, the DPW situation, contract negotiations and the Secondary Schools Building Committee have all been excellent, he added.
“He’s got a full plate. I’m very pleased with the performance level and I appreciate the sacrifices he’s been making on the family front to meet the needs of the community,” O’Leary added.
Kathryn Manupelli heartily agreed but felt Gilleberto deserved a perfect score for professionalism. Manupelli, who joined the board last year, lauded him for tacking this year’s challenges head on. “I’m glad my experience on the board began with you,” she said.
Referring to those challenges, Michael Prisco told Gilleberto, “I hope this is the worst year you ever have in North Reading, because this certainly wasn’t an easy one. To come out with these high scores, you should go home very proud tonight. Not everyone could have done what you did.
“To me, this year really solidified that the town made the right decision (in hiring you as administrator). You always found a way to work with everyone. I’m proud and happy we selected you,” Prisco commented.
Mauceri said he personally is the happiest of all for Gilleberto. The Selectmen have put money in next year’s budget to provide some help for the T.A., who requested a full time human resources director. Mauceri and Prisco agreed the Gilleberto should put this position to good use.
Gilleberto thanked the board members for their confidence and essentially said they’re all in this together.
“This is an evaluation of our overall success – the board as a whole and all of our employees. This document, while identified as a town administrator evaluation, is an evaluation of all of us and all of the hard working employees of the town who have been through a difficult time in the last few months,” Gilleberto said.
He also thanked his wife Jen and their sons Noah and Max who have been “nothing but supportive in the last few years.”