By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
The finalists for the next town manager have been chosen.
Harwich Town Administrator Christopher Clark; Michael Borg, Director of Property and Capital Improvement in Providence; and Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine were selected from a group of 26 applicants by the Town Manager Screening Committee. At the Town Council meeting on Dec. 23, Bernie Lynch, president of Community Paradigm Associates, outlined each candidate’s skills and background.
“We had a good number of qualified people that we looked at,” said Lynch. “It was a great job by the screening committee. They asked very pointed questions of the candidates.”
Clark has 30 years of experience with municipal government, including six years in Harwich, five as Southbridge Town Manager, and two as town administrator for Vernon, Conn. Among his accomplishments are completing a Town Master Plan and new middle/high school in Southbridge, a Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan among several towns, and renovating three harbors in Harwich. During his time in Harwich, he managed to have power restored a day and a half after a tornado tore through the town.
“His references were very strong in terms of accomplishments in the community,” said Lynch.
As a colonel in the U.S. Army, Borg has a range of command experience, from a 500-soldier battalion to a 3,000-member brigade. In his resume he stated that he “brought every soldier home to their families.” Following this, he went to work for the city of Providence, R.I., as the director of emergency management in 2015 and moving to different positions over the years. While there, he improved workflow at the Department of Public Works, addressed road issues, and improved recycling numbers.
“He made a plan to improve it [the recycling],” said Lynch. “He had to deal with citizen engagement.”
Chapdelaine—considered a “rock star in municipal management,” according to one reference—has worked in Arlington for years, the last eight as town manager. He has also been town administrator in Fall River and deputy chief of staff for the Office of the Majority Whip in the Massachusetts Senate. In references, he is described as one who deals well with pressure, excels at citizen relations, and consults with team members before reaching a decision.
“He’s a leader in municipal government,” said Lynch. “They’re all a little bit different. The committee believed they’d all in the prime of their career.”
On Jan. 6, the finalists will meet with the entire council for an interview. The next day, the council will divide into three groups for meetings with each candidate. After this, the council will meet to discuss their choices for the next town manager. The council members agreed that this was the correct approach, as it gave an in-depth look at each candidate.
“Meeting in small groups is wonderful,” said Councilor Jo Ann Cathcart. “I didn’t like that we had the one round of meetings and that’s it. We’re picking the first town manager that North Attleborough has ever had.”