South Hadley town administrator helps plan for 2021 retirement

  • Michael Sullivan, the new town administrator in South Hadley, at his home in Holyoke Friday, March 22, 2013. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 11/5/2018 12:16:17 AM

SOUTH HADLEY — Town Administrator Mike Sullivan anticipates that he will retire from his position in 2021, when a contract extension approved by the Select Board on Tuesday expires.

The newly approved contract, which begins on July 1, 2019, extends Sullivan’s tenure to June 30, 2021. Under the new terms, Sullivan will work a four-day week during the 2020-21 year, which comes along with a $10,000 pay cut, and receive a $500 raise for the 2019-20 year.

The new contract terms are a part of “sunsetting my career here in South Hadley,” said Sullivan, who will be 65 by the time that the contract extension ends.

“I think it’s good for South Hadley,” Sullivan said. “I think it’s a long enough period to do succession planning. If the Select Board wants me to be involved in that, I’d certainly be willing to participate.”

Board Chairman Ira Brezinsky said Sullivan has “always been well over (the number of hours required) during his entire tenure in town,” leading to the four-day workweek agreement.

“As much as I’ve enjoyed (being town administrator), it works well,” Sullivan said, “and I think the Select Board understands and appreciates — and many residents do — that I easily do 40 hours in four days here, so working a four-day week will still give the town a full commitment, a full working schedule.”

“I will still have the same amount of work in less time, and the town gets to pay $10,000 less, which I appreciate and I advocate for,” he continued.

Sullivan receives a current salary of $129,999, which will drop to $119,000 in the last year of his contract.

The Select Board voted unanimously to approve the contract in an executive session at the end of its Oct. 16 meeting, then publicly approved the contract at last Tuesday’s meeting.

At Tuesday’s Select Board meeting, Brezinsky called the agreement a “very, very fair contract to the town” according to a South Hadley Community Television recording.

“We are very fortunate to have Mike here, and for him to be willing to stay with us for another two years,” Brezinsky continued.

Sullivan became South Hadley’s town administrator in April 2013, following a 10-year term as mayor of Holyoke from 2000 to 2010 and a 2010-13 term as Maynard’s town administrator.

Sullivan added that he may look into other roles after retiring from his position in South Hadley, and said that he may consider mentoring others looking to fill government roles.

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at

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