Palmer passes over Hadley’s Brennan for administrator job

Hadley Town Administrator Carolyn Brennan, pictured in late 2020, was not selected for a similar position in Palmer this week.

Hadley Town Administrator Carolyn Brennan, pictured in late 2020, was not selected for a similar position in Palmer this week. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 02-29-2024 11:37 AM

Modified: 02-29-2024 4:30 PM


HADLEY — The Palmer Town Council is negotiating with a Plymouth assistant town manager to be its next town manager, passing over Hadley Town Administrator Carolyn Brennan for the job.

Councilors voted 5-1 Monday to offer the position to Brad Brothers, assistant town manager in Plymouth, citing his financial expertise, the vision he offers for the community, and his familiarity with the town, having grown up in Palmer.

Earlier in February, Brennan informed Hadley officials that she was a finalist for the job, writing in an email that she was seeking the position as a means of reducing her travel time to and from her home in Wilbraham. Brennan has been Hadley town administrator since September 2020. All of Palmer’s councilors praised Brennan, with most calling the decision a toss-up.

“They’re both excellent candidates,” said Councilor-at-Large Mark Caci, who supported choosing  Brennan.

Council President Barbara A. Barry said Brennan would have brought a calming demeanor and would have built a good relationship with residents and businesses.

“They both bring different skill sets to the community,” Barry said of the candidates. “I like both.”

Vice President Jessica Sizer said Brennan has the experience, knows how to wear many hats and would have management skills to keep projects moving.

“I think we have two really strong candidates,” Sizer said. “In either case, Palmer will be in good hands.”

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Sizer and other councilors liked Brothers’ financial management skills and his commitment to being consistent and fair.

Caci voted against Brothers, expressing concern about someone with close ties to the community returning as town manager.