Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Springfield official named Vernon assistant administrator

By Max Bakke
Journal Inquirer
May 20, 2009

VERNON — A Massachusetts man recently employed as a top-level administrator in Springfield has been tapped as the town's new assistant town administrator.

A nearly unanimous Town Council approved the appointment of Peter Graczykowksi during its meeting Tuesday night, applauding the Massachusetts lawyer for his nearly 10 years of municipal government experience, much of it in management.

Mayor Jason L. McCoy, who recommended Graczykowski for the post, for which he'll earn an $82,000 annual salary, called him a well-prepared and highly experienced choice for the town.

"He should be a good fit for the town," McCoy said today. "I hope he stays longer than a few years given that he has the credentials."

Graczykowksi will replace Human Resource Director Dan Sullivan, who retired this spring. Graczykowksi recently was the director of administrative services in Springfield's Public Works Department and a project manager in the city's Finance Department.

His duties will include personnel matters and labor negotiations, and assisting Town Administrator John Ward, officials said. Graczykowksi originally sought Ward's job during a search this year.

Republican Councilman Dan Anderson, who served on the search committee for the town administrator, thanked Graczykowksi for reapplying for another position.

"He's definitely an asset to the town," Anderson said.

Republican Councilwoman Nancy Herold abstained from the vote, after airing concerns that Graczykowski, who earned a law degree from the Western New England School of Law in 2003, would be yet another lawyer in a town chockablock with legal minds.

With a mayor and recently hired town administrator boasting legal expertise and three town attorneys, Herold said, another legal voice could block the town with obstruction.

Graczykowski parried those concerns Tuesday and said his legal experience gives him a specialty in negotiating and navigating labor contracts. It also permits him to coexist more easily in the jargon-laced environment of his future colleagues.

"It makes me more compatible," he said.

Republican Mark Etre and Democrats Marie Herbst and Bill Fox were not present at Tuesday's meeting.