The Town of Wellesley has narrowed down candidates for its executive director job to two finalists: Adam Gaudette, the Town Administrator in Spencer, Mass., and Blythe Robinson, now the Town Manager of Upton, Mass.
Current Wellesley Executive Director Hans Larsen is retiring this fall after 11 years on the job, and now Wellesley needs a new executive director because residents voted against going with a town manager instead. The job of executive director involves assisting the Board of Selectmen in its annual development of town-wide goals and objectives and coordinating staff initiatives to achieve them.
Gaudette, a resident of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, has served as Town Administrator of Spencer since 2010. Prior to that, Gaudette served as Spencer’s Director of Development and Inspectional Services and has 17 years of experience in local government administration, planning, and community development.
Robinson, a resident of Upton, has served as Town Manager of Upton since 2010. Prior to that position, Robinson served as Assistant Town Manager in Avon, Ct., and has more than 20 years of experience in local government management.
A nine-member Executive Director Screening Committee conducted its selection work in collaboration with Bernard F. Lynch, principal of Community Paradigm Associates, an executive search consultant. Three public forums were held to get residents’ input on what the town should look for in candidates.
A total of 76 applications were submitted.
On Oct. 20, the finalists will spend the day in Wellesley, touring the community and meeting with the Board of Selectmen, various department heads, and chairs of numerous town boards and committees. A public reception will be conducted that same evening where the public can submit questions to the moderator.
Issac Gardiner says
Given the Town’s recently affirmed government structure, this job is mostly about management, and in particular, the ability to herd cats. Hopefully, Mr. Gaudette and Ms. Robinson are both great at that.
One thing that disappoints me a little, however, is their backgrounds. As I see it, a big concern with Town government is that many people in it want to govern Wellesley as if it is still a small (population) town in a remote location. It is a relatively large population town with many urban characteristics that is adjacent a major city of increasing global prominence. Many of us are becoming increasingly frustrated with the Town’s inability to quickly react to events that affect it (e.g., “dumb growth” development as opposed to the “smart growth” approaches being implemented elsewhere and lack of meaningful bicycle infrastructure).
Both of these [people] seem to have extensive backgrounds in communities of the relatively small population/remote location type. I am not sure that gives me confidence about moving Wellesley town government forward, but at the same time, it does explain why these candidates might have been popular within town government.
I will look forward to learning more about each candidate.