Town Administrator Search Companies Pitch Themselves to Harwich Selectmen

HARWICH – Selectmen in Harwich are continuing the search for a new town administrator and the board is gathering proposals from town administrator search companies to assist in the process.

At their recent meeting, selectmen heard presentations from Groux-White Consulting, LLC and Community Paradigm Associates.

The board wanted to get a good idea of what each company has to offer.

If selectmen decide to proceed with one of the search companies, they will then assist a committee put together by the board to screen candidates.    

Thomas Groux, of Groux-White Consulting, spoke to selectmen and said he and his partner, Richard White, are familiar with Harwich, noting that both men served in administration roles in Chatham and Dennis respectively.

“As you probably may know, I am the recently retired town manager from Chatham,” said Groux.

“Rick [White] is the retired town administrator from Dennis, so we’ve been on both side of Harwich and I think we know the community fairly well.”   

Bernard Lynch and Sharon Flaherty were at the meeting on behalf of Community Paradigm Associates.

Lynch mentioned to selectmen that he was the first town administrator in Chelmsford and said his company was the most active recruiting firm in the state.

Selectmen said they want the search committee to see each of the applications filed.

Groux responded to this by saying that his company will obtain applications and work from the beginning to the end with the search committee and then with selectmen to reach a final decision.

“We make an effort to assist the search committee on a thorough basis from the very beginning until the very end and then we work closely with the board of selectmen,” continued Groux.

White added that they have had success in delivering qualified candidates in the past and that the company offers an 18-month guarantee the person hired will remain, if not they will provide the next search for free.

Lynch spoke about the high turnover rates in town management positions throughout the state over the last three years.

He added that his firm has been active on Cape Cod, providing a manager in Bourne, Brewster, and Provincetown, and said they are currently working with Truro.

“We come in, we work with you in terms of identifying the type of candidate you want and we relay very heavily upon meeting with you, the members of the governing board,” said Lynch.    

Both firms emphasized the need to understand the type of administrator Harwich is seeking.

Groux and White said they will sit down with selectmen to get an impression of the goals and expectations for a new town administrator and that they will interview community leaders.

The information will be presented to the committee and selectmen.

Lynch said Community Paradigm Associates will work with department heads and the community to develop a position profile.

He spoke highly of his firms outreach when searching for mangers and said they have a vast network, remain in contact with managers, and are active in graduate school programs so they have an understanding of the next generation of mangers.

Selectmen reminded the firms that it is not always the best candidate on paper that they are looking for.

Selectmen Donald Howell said they are searching for someone town officials can interact with and that resumes can be deceiving.

White added that it’s not the most qualified candidate his firm will be looking for, but rather the candidate that is the best fit.

He said that on the Cape it is important to have someone who is accessible, part of the community, and who can solve problems and work with officials to provide guidance.

Selectmen Ed McManus asked what consultants their thoughts were on site visits.

Groux and White said they could arrange site visits, but Lynch said he finds they do not work well.

Search committee member Julie Kavanagh said she wants the committee to look thoroughly across the board and take the entire picture into consideration.

Both firms emphasized that they will work closely with the search committee to make sure this gets done the right way.

While selectmen would like the process of finding a new town manger to happen sooner rather than later, they also noted that they are not in a rush to do so.

About Luke Leitner

Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.
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