Town Manager Screening Committee
July 11, 1998
Town of Billerica, Massachusetts
The Latest News - July 11, 1998
The Town Administrator Screening Committee was empaneled on March 25,
1998 as required by the Billerica
Home Rule Charter and the
General By-Laws of the Town, as a result of the resignation of the
Town of Billerica's Town Manager, Robert Mercier.
The Board of Selectmen may only appoint the next Town Manager from a
list of three (3) to five (5) candidates recommended by the Town
Administrator Screening Committee as required by the Billerica
Home Rule Charter.
According to the By-Laws, the following thirteen (13) appointments were voted by
Board of Selectmen: John Conway and
Peter M. Coppinger
School Committee: Robert Keough and
Planning Board: Lawrence Bavis and Robert Norman
Finance Committee: Dorothy Callihan and Ralph McKenna
David Delorey and Charles Taylor
Town Meeting Precinct Captains:
Anthony Barbere, Barbara Morrissey and Donald Flynn
The committee met on March 25, 1998 and voted Michael Rea as Chairman
and Robert Norman as Secretary.
The committee met on April 1, 1998 and considered procedures to
govern its work. The following is a proposed procedure to be
used by the Town Manager Screening Committee to complete their work
(Note: this is only a draft):
A. All candidates that submit an application, resume, etc. will be logged in chronological order as a function of their official receipt by the Chairman.
B. The Candidate Log will have the following elements:
B.1. The date that a candidate's application, resume, etc. was received.
B.2. The name of the candidate.
B.3. The home address of the candidate.
B.4. The telephone number of the candidate.
B.5. The FAX number of the candidate.
B.6. The Internet mail address of the candidate.
B.7. Three columns to be populated (Y/N) by a vote of the committee:
B.7.a. The candidate meets all of the advertised requirements;
B.7.b. The candidate meets the experience requirements, but may not meet other requirements;
B.7.c. The candidate does not meet the experience requirements.
B.8. The candidate will be interviewed (Y/N).
B.9. The candidate will be recommended to the Board of Selectmen (Y/N).
B.10. The candidate's rank order of recommendation to the Board of Selectmen (1 to "N", where "N" is 3 to 5).
C. The Candidate Log column #7 will be populated by a vote of the committee as soon as possible, but not before the committee members have had a reasonable period to read and review each applicant's submitted materials. I no case will the committee members be expected to render a vote at the same meeting that the materials are received. This approach will ensure that all committee members will have a good opportunity to analyze and research the candidate materials, plus ensure fair treatment to all candidates.
D. The committee will vote to populate Candidate Log column #8 only after column #7 is voted. This column should be populated as soon after June 1, 1998 as possible, but not before that time. This approach will help identify the potential costs associated of the interview process and provide the committee with an opportunity to properly fund it. Deciding after June 1, 1998 provides the committee with a full view of the candidates in toto. Note: The committee needs to interview at least three candidates to meet the requirements of the charter.
E. The Primary Interviews should be scheduled with two or three per evening and allow a minimum of one hour per interview.
F. Secondary Interview Procedure - Open for Discussion.
G. The Candidate Log columns #9 and #10 will be populated by a vote of the committee after the interview process is completed. This will be done by a "multiple vote" procedure, rather than voting on each candidate individually. The process is as follows:
G.1. The committee will place into nomination all candidates that were interviewed (i.e., Candidate Log column #8), where the number of candidates is "N".
G.2. A candidate list will be posted on a "LIST" on the wall (paper, "white board", or chalk board, etc.). The LIST (initially) will have fourteen columns and "N" rows. Column #1 heading will be "Candidate Name" and Columns #2 to #14 will be each committee member's name. Each row in column #1 will have a candidate name posted in it. The committee votes will be posted in column #2 through #14 and rows #1 to "N".
G.3. The committee will vote on a round "robin basis", where the first to vote will advance one or two seats, at the direction of the chair, so that each member would have a good opportunity to vote first and/or last.
G.4. The first round of voting will be conducted as follows:
G.4.a. Each member will be allotted "N" minus one number of votes (e.g. if "N"=6, each member of the committee will have 5 votes).
G.4.b. Each member may cast up to "N" minus one number of votes, but not cast more than one vote per candidate and each committee member is not required to cast all of their votes.
G.4.c. The chair will select a starting point among the membership and call for that member's vote.
G.4.d. Each committee member's vote will be posted to the "LIST" as they are made by that committee member (i.e., before moving on to the next member to vote).
G.4.e. At the conclusion of each voting round, the candidate with the fewest votes will be placed in the "N"th position (i.e., last place) and the rank order of the vote recorded in column #10 of the Candidate Log. In the event that last place is a tie, the tie will be broken immediately by using the same process as identified above, but only including the candidates that are tied (i.e., "N" temporarily will be the number of candidates that are tied). Any subsequent ties will require revotes until the tie is broken, before moving on the next full voting round. The rank order of the broken tie votes will be recorded in column #10 of the Candidate Log.
G.5. Each subsequent round of voting will be conducted as follows:
G.5.a. "N" will be reduced by one and each member will be allotted the new value of "N" minus one number of votes, (e.g. if "N"=5, then each member will have 4 votes).
G.5.b. Each member may cast up to the new "N" minus one number of votes, but not cast more than one vote per candidate.
G.5.c. The chair will advance the starting point (i.e., according to #3 above) among the membership and call for that member's vote.
G.5.d. The votes will be posted to the "LIST" as they are made by each committee member (i.e., before moving on to the next member to vote).
G.5.e. At the conclusion of each round of voting, the candidate with the fewest votes will be placed in the new "N"th position (i.e., the last place in this round) and the rank order of the vote recorded in column #10 of the Candidate Log. In the event that this place is a tie, the tie will be broken immediately by using the same process as identified above, but only including the candidates that are tied (i.e., "N" temporarily will be the number of candidates that are tied). Any subsequent ties will require revotes until the tie is broken, before moving on the next full voting round. The rank order of the broken tie votes will be recorded in column #10 of the Candidate Log.
H. Population of Candidate Log column #9 - Open for Discussion.
Written by a consensus request of the Town Manager Screening Committee by David F. Delorey, Jr. on April 7, 1998. These procedures will be voted on by the committee, subject to ammendment(s), at the next meeting.
The committee met on April 15, 1998 to discuss the selection process (above), the twelve (12) resumes received to date, the classification of applicants (i.e., qualified/unqualified), efforts for minority community outreach and interview procedures. The committee will vote at the next meeting to finalize the committee's procedures.
The committee met on May 6th and May 20th to discuss the selection process (above), the forty four (44) resumes received to date and the classification of applicants (i.e., qualified/unqualified). The committee agreed by consensus to use the proposed committee procedures, with voting ties to be decided by a weighted vote method. Nineteen (19) candidates are now classified as either "A" or "B" and the remainder are classified as "C", per the committee's procedures. Since the "C" classification of candidates cannot be considered as finalists, letters were sent to each applicant thanking them for applying. The committee will be accepting resumes that are postmarked on or before May 22, 1998.
The committee met on June 10, 1998 and had received fifty-four (54) resumes as of the submittal deadline date of May 22, 1998 (postmarked), of which thirty-one (31) applicants did not meet the minimum statutory requirements (i.e., five years experience). The remaining twenty-four (24) fully qualified applicants were considered by the committee in a discussion, after which the chair polled the committee members to determine where support for each candidate was apparent. It was decided by consensus that any applicant that had at least one member speaking for them would be further considered. Eighteen (18) candidates drew support, thus six (6) candidates were set aside. The committee then formally voted the proposed voting procedures (shown above), except that ties would be done by the standard "weighted vote" method (for example, if 5 candidates were tied, each member would be required to assign a "5" to their top choice candidate, then a "4" to the next choice candidate, then a "3" to their third choice, a "2" to their fourth choice and finally a "1" to their last choice candidate - the committee would be polled and the score totals would be tallied, with the highest aggregate score assuming first place, the next second place, etc.). The committee decided, by consensus, to use the new voting procedures to reduce the candidate list to about twelve (12) candidates in order to reasonably manage the interview process - each member was asked to select their top twelve (12) candidates and the committee was polled. The votes were counted and three (3) candidates were tied for twelfth place. The committee decided not to break the tie and arrange to interview fourteen (14) candidates. A motion to thank the ten (10) unsuccessful candidates by letter for applying was seconded and voted unanamously. A motion to conduct interviews in executive session was seconded. The committee was polled and each member voted in the affirmative. The chairman agreed to arrange for interviews to be conducted the week of June 21st and June 28th. The chairman will advise the committee of the interview schedule (time/date/location) after contacting the fourteen (14) remaining candidates.
The committee met on June 23, 1998 after the chairman had scheduled the fourteen (14) remaining candidates for interviews with the committee. It was announced that two candidates asked to be withdrawn from consideration. Two (2) of the remaining twelve (12) candidates appeared before the committee and were interviewed in executive session.
The committee met on June 24, 1998 to interview one (1) more of the remaining twelve (12) candidates in executive session. Nine (9) candidates remain to be interviewed.
The committee met on June 25, 1998 to interview two (2) more of the remaining twelve (12) candidates in executive session. Seven (7) candidates remain to be interviewed.
The committee met on June 30, 1998 to interview two (2) more of the remaining twelve (12) candidates in executive session. Five (5) candidates remain to be interviewed.
The committee met on July 1, 1998 to interview two (2) more of the remaining twelve (12) candidates in executive session. However, it was announced that one candidate became employed in another town and another candidate could not be scheduled. That interview slot, potentially scheduled for the evening, was passed by - this candidate was constructively eliminated from consideration. The candidate list now numbers ten (10). One (1) candidate remains to be interviewed.
The committee met on July 2, 1998 to interview the remaining candidate in executive session. Following the interview, the committee voted to reduce the current candidate list of ten (10) names to a short list of six (6) semi-finalists. Various members have volunteered to check the credentials of the semi-finalists after the candidates are notified of their status. The committee plans to meet on July 9th (or July 14th if needed) to formulate and vote to submit, according to Section 2.6.6.A.1 of the General By-Laws, " . . . to the Board of Selectmen the names of not less than three nor more than five candidates whom it believes to be best suited to perform the duties of the office."
The committee met on July 9, 1998 at 7:00 PM in the Town Hall in executive session. All of the candidates credentials (i.e., the highest degree earned) had been previously verified. The committee, in its thirteenth (13th) meeting, considered the short list of six (6) semi-finalists and to voted to submit three (3) names, according to Section 2.6.6.A.1 of the General By-Laws, " . . . to the Board of Selectmen the names of not less than three nor more than five candidates whom it believes to be best suited to perform the duties of the office." The committee used the previously voted procedure to decide the ranking of the semi-finalists in five (5) rounds of voting. As a result of the process, the committee retired from executive session and voted in open session to submit the names of Richard Montuori, David Sullivan, and Christopher Raths, in that order, to the Board of Selectmen, and in the event that any of one those three candidates would choose to remove their names from consideration upon notification by the committee chairman, Wolfgang Bauer would be promoted to third place (each of the other candidates would move up one place as required) and that list of three (3) candidates, in that order, would be filed with the selectmen on Monday, July 13, 1998.
On July 10, 1998, David Sullivan withdrew his candidacy for the post of Billerica Town Manager for personal reasons. As a result of this event, the names of Richard Montuori, Christopher Raths and Wolfgang Bauer, in that order, will be submitted to the Board of Selectmen on Monday, July 13, 1998.
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