LEE – An ad hoc search committee will kick off the new year by sifting through nearly 20 applications from people looking to be Lee’s next city administrator.
According to Nick Arienti, the committee chair, the seven-person community panel will begin reviewing resumes that started arriving right after Thanksgiving. The post was officially published on November 29.
“In the first 10 days 11 people applied and another wave of 4-5 with one or two more, that’s really encouraging,” he said.
Arienti says there is a mix of people from outside the Berkshires and those from the county.
“There seem to be a lot of applicants with very good credentials,” he said.
Lee is looking for a replacement for Christopher Ketchen. In July, after Ketchen served 4.5 years as the executive director of Lee and Lenox, the Lenox Select board voted unanimously to return him to his original position at Lenox. He was hired as general manager of Lenox in 2014, and in 2017 an inter-municipal agreement with Lee was approved. Ketchen was making $ 128,638 per year, the cost shared equally by Lee and Lenox.
City Clerk Christopher Brittain is the interim city administrator until Ketchen’s successor is found, likely in the first quarter of 2022.
The job description is based on a city code which details the legal requirements for being a city administrator, such as the candidate’s ability to hire and fire unelected employees. Arienti stressed that a city administrator does not have as much authority as a general manager, who has more of a say in the day-to-day management of a city.
“We are looking for someone with very good budgeting and finance skills who can be a good leader,” said the chairman of the search committee.
He noted that the job offer did not include a salary scale, as this will be negotiated based on experience.
In July, after Ketchen served 4.5 years as the executive director of both cities, Lenox Select’s board asked her to return to her original position. He had been hired as the general manager of Lenox in 2014, and in 2017, an inter-municipal agreement with Lee was approved by each city’s board of directors and at annual city meetings.