Harwich Names Temporary Town Administrator

Courtesy Town of Harwich

HARWICH – Assistant Town Administrator Joseph Powers will serve as the temporary town administrator for Harwich while the board of selectmen searches for a permanent replacement.

While current Town Administrator Christopher Clark’s contract does not expire until June 30, he is currently on a long-term leave of absence and does not intend to seek reappointment.  

Resident Gary Conroy asked the board several questions about how the hiring process would be conducted, as well as recommended that the selectmen consider Leo Cakounes as a potential candidate for the position.

His recommendation was backed by the signatures of 24 other residents.

“Leo would bring many qualities and much experience to town government and could hit the ground running,” said Conroy.

Cakounes’ experience includes eight years on the local finance commission, four years serving the Barnstable County Commission and two years as chairman. He is currently president of the Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative.

“Cakounes is a successful business owner operator, a family man, and has lived in Harwich since 1982. His love of Harwich is undeniable. As you can see, Leo has a background and resume that is substantial, he would bring experience and leadership to our town government,” said Conroy.

“In many ways, Harwich is at a crossroad and we don’t have the luxury of someone getting their feet wet over the next couple of years,” Conroy said.

Conroy also presented the board with questions about what the timetable for finding the next town administrator might be and how the town was going to be updated on progress during the search.

He also voiced questions about a possible search committee being formed to assist in locating a new candidate.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Larry Ballantine said there will be a search committee alongside the hiring of Powers as temporary town administrator in the meantime.  

Though receptive to the suggestion of Cakounes, Ballantine said the board was not yet at the phase where they could make definitive picks for candidates. 

“We’re not to the point of considering Mr. Cakounes or anyone at this point. It’ll be an open process once we go through the interviews. The process will hopefully come back with several outstanding candidates and we’ll go from there. Then, everyone will have a chance to be heard,” said Ballantine.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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