Smithfield Mayor John Lampe said Tuesday night members of the town council were split on how to hire a new town manager. Some wanted to conduct the process in house while others wanted a consultant hired to handle most of the process. After some discussion, the council voted unanimously to handle the hiring with town staff with the help of interim town manager Jim Freeman.
By handling the hiring in house, the Town will save the $20,000-$30,000 cost of hiring a consultant.
Freeman and Human Resource Director Tim Kerigan were asked by Councilman Emery Ashley to identify qualifications, traits, and characteristics they would like to see in a new manager and provide that to town council members within 7 days. The council could then add to the list of what they would like to see in a new manager.
Former Town Manager Paul Sabiston was fired August 4th.
Mayor Pro Tem Andy Moore said the council “is already in the hole $70,000” and would like the town to handle the hiring. Moore was referring to a payout made to Sabiston for 50% of his salary for 12 months as severance for his termination.
Freeman suggested the vacancy be advertised through at least the month of April. He said some town managers may find themselves without a job after the November elections and could apply for the position. “Some city managers may be looking for work.”
The council agreed with Freeman’s suggestion. A timeline for the hiring of a replacement manager was not released.