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South Hadley administrator finalists face interviews

The board will interview former Holyoke Mayor Michael J. Sullivan at 6:30 p.m. in its meeting room at Town Hall, followed by an interview with Ronald S. San Angelo, former mayor of Naugatuck, Conn., at 7:45 p.m.

The duo were chosen as finalists for the town administrator’s post by the Town Administrator Search Committee, which vetted candidates recruited by the Collins Center, from the University of Massachusetts Boston. The Select Board hired the Collins Center to conduct the search for a new town administrator for $13,500.

Sullivan, who was mayor of neighboring Holyoke from 2000 to 2010, is now town administrator of Maynard, 20 miles west of Boston. His three-year contract with that town ends March 31.

In a letter Sullivan sent to the Collins Center, he touted his “level of familiarity” with South Hadley, noting that as the Paper City mayor, he served on several regional commissions serving Pioneer Valley communities.

During his three-year term in Maynard, Sullivan said he turned a $750,000 deficit for the community with 10,000 residents into a balance of $2.9 million in a free cash fund.

He also said he helped bring a proposed $35 million mixed-use development to Maynard. The town is building a 1.6 megawatt solar array on a former landfill that will bring that town $125,000 a year in revenue, he said.

Sullivan took note of “some very difficult decisions” he made as Holyoke mayor, including buying a hydroelectric facility, entering a public-private partnership for the city’s wastewater treatment plant and hiring former Police Chief Anthony Scott, who headed police forces in Athol and in Rock Island, Ill., to lead the city’s police department. Scott ended his 44-year career in law enforcement in 2011, when he retired after 10 years as Holyoke’s top cop.

Sullivan lives at 5 Pheasant Drive in Holyoke. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy from the University of Massachusetts and attended Holyoke Community College and Worcester State College.

San Angelo lives in Naugatuck while working as a project technology manager at CGI Corp., an Andover information technology business on Boston’s North Shore.

He cited his “successful track record in all areas of city administration” during four years as mayor of Naugatuck, when he managed 225 employees and an $85 million budget for the city with 32,000 residents.

San Angelo described himself as “an analytical problem-solver, effective decision-maker and skilled negotiator.”

“My strengths include formulating and implementing strategies that revived Naugatuck and transformed it into a thriving community with new business development, while saving taxpayers money and averting tax increases,” he said.

San Angelo was a Connecticut state representative for 10 years and served eight years on the Naugatuck Board of Burgesses.

San Angelo worked as project manager from 2007 to 2011 for the Connecticut Department of Information Techology’s initiative across several state agencies to increase productivity and reduce costs.

San Angelo holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Central Connecticut State University and is a certified project management professional.

South Hadley is without a town administrator after Paul Beecher resigned abruptly in January 2012 when board members declined to renew his contract, which still had a year to go.

Jennifer Wolowicz, the town’s personnel and procurement officer, is acting town administrator.

The Collins Center received 22 applications for the South Hadley town administrator’s job and whittled the list down to seven semi-finalists for the search committee. The search committee chose two finalists who will be interviewed by the Select Board.

Etta Walsh can be reached at ewalsh.gazette@gmail.com

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