McCoy nears appointment of next town administrator
By Max Bakke
VERNON — Mayor Jason L. McCoy said today that he’s close to appointing a new full-time town administrator, as the temporary contract with interim administrator John D. Ward expires this week.
Ward, a former school board member and Democratic town councilman, was hired to replace former administrator Christopher Clark last summer and was granted only a temporary contract.
McCoy said several candidates have applied for the job and a steering committee whittled viable candidates to three, with one dropping out. McCoy — who has indicated that he would like give Ward, a fellow lawyer, the job permanently — said today he would decide between Ward and the other candidate this week.
“They were all solid candidates,” the mayor said.
McCoy said he could not recall the name of the other candidate, saying only that it’s a Springfield official. He did say, however, that he expects his final decision would be ready for Town Council approval during its meeting Jan. 20.
Ward will continue to act as interim town administrator until the position is filled at that meeting.
Councilors were pleased with Ward’s appointment last summer, but Democratic Councilwoman Pauline Schaefer criticized the mayor for not communicating with the board about the search process, or if Ward would retain his post as the contract deadline neared.
“It just leaves us in limbo,” she said.
Ward, who is a member of the Democratic Town Committee, served on the Board of Education from 1997 to 2003 and was elected to the council shortly after.
Clark resigned in mid-July after taking the town manager’s job in Southbridge, Mass., following that Town Council’s unanimous support of his three-year contract. His last day of work in Vernon was Aug. 15.
Clark, who lives in Sturbridge, had been Vernon’s town administrator for two years.
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