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Screening committee formed for town administrator search in Southampton

Highway Superintendent Edward J. Cauley, a member of the new screening committee and of the Select Board, said he expects the team will begin reviewing the 18 applications at the end of the month. In addition to Cauley, the Select Board appointed to the committee Select Board member Jacqueline Sears, Police Chief David Silvernail, Treasurer Donna Whiteley and Finance Committee Chairman John Furman.

The Select Board officially gave the committee only the task of reviewing the applications and removing any that don’t meet the minimum qualifications. But Select Board Chairman Michael J. Phelan Jr. said he thinks the board is “going to need that committee” more down the road.

“We can decide to give this committee other responsibilities after that first go-around,” he said.

Selectman David. A. McDougall suggested the committee could screen ineligible applicants, but then attend any interviews and make recommendations to the Select Board.

Cauley said it is possible that the majority or all of the applicants could pass the initial screening, and asking the Select Board to review more than 10 applicants is not efficient.

“I think this committee should at least make some recommendations,” he said.

Among the minimum qualifications listed in the job description are at least three years’ experience in public administration “or an equivalent combination of education and experience,” knowledge of state laws and skills including grant writing, contract negotiation, organization and leadership.

The board voted in December to make a four-year degree a suggested qualification, instead of a requirement, as it was when the town hired its first administrator, Diana Schindler.

The identities of the applicants have not been revealed, but Phelan said at the meeting that applications came in from all over New England. Most were from Massachusetts, including some from the eastern part of the state, he said.

Regina Shea-Sullivan, the assistant town administrator who has been serving as interim town administrator since Schindler left the position in July 2011, said in the past that she planned to apply.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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