Council Names 6 to Town Manager Search Advisory Committee

by | Jan 24, 2018

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

The Town Council Monday night appointed six people to a Town Manager Advisory Committee: veterinary business owner Chad Callanan; real estate business owner Allen Gammons; Cole Middle School Principal Alexis Meyer; labor lawyer and town personnel board member Vin Ragosta; former president of Johnson and Wales Jack Yena; and head of the EG Chamber of Commerce Steve Lombardi.

All but Lombardi are residents of East Greenwich.

Town Council President Sue Cienki said the Town Council would review the 68 resumes that have been submitted and select an unspecified number to be part of the first-round interview process. From there, the advisory committee would conduct interviews with the candidates, in person or by phone, depending on the candidate’s location.

Cienki said the advisory panel would then recommend an unspecified number of candidates to proceed to round two, where they would be interviewed by the Town Council.

“The final vote on the town manager rests with the Town Council,” Cienki said.

As an advisory board to the council, the panel will be subject to the Open Meetings Act, according to Town Solicitor David D’Agostino. That means agendas for meetings will have to be posted 48 hours in advance.

Newly appointed board member Allen Gammons said he had emailed the council to express his interest in serving after hearing they were going to name an advisory board.

“I hope I can offer a open-minded opinion as a lifelong East Greenwich resident,” he said Wednesday when asked how he could contribute. He added he hoped the panel would not become “a political thing” and that their suggestions would be taken seriously.

President Cienki declined to say Monday whether or not current Town Manager Gayle Corrigan was among the applicants. From the day Corrigan was hired, June 19, Cienki has said that her tenure in the post was temporary. In July, Corrigan said she would not rule out applying for the permanent position but that she was “too busy” to think about it at that point. Corrigan’s initial appointment to the town manager position was ruled “null and void” by Superior Court Judge Susan McGuirl in November. The Town Council reappointed her by a vote of 3-2 before a largely angry crowd of more than 500 people Nov. 20.

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Bridget Shapiro
Bridget Shapiro
January 24, 2018 9:17 pm

I’m sure these 6 will do a great job, although I still wonder why the TC felt the need to disregard the personnel committee that was already established, and choose others for assistance? Stall tactic to delay the process, or was there an actual legitimate reason? And is it true that candidate submissions for the TM position were due Dec 22 (I believe) so it was posted and open for just about a month, and that all resumes were submitted to D’Agnostino? I’m either not tracking fully with the goings-on, or there are a lot of holes in this process.

Bridget Shapiro
Bridget Shapiro
January 25, 2018 1:14 am

Thanks, Elizabeth. This whole process of hiring the Town Manager is fascinating. In short, the TC took a few months to agree to look for a full-timer to possibly replace Corrigan. It was a complex process, according to the TC, and confirmed by how long it took for them to write the job description and then post it. They then granted about a month, for candidates to submit their resumes to Town, via D’Agnostino, who came to us through a connection to Corrigan who is the one we are talking about replacing… I’m tracking now… then instead of using a resource in place, the TC decides to come up with another group (I have no beef with this group, only this process), to assist in finding the TM replacement – ONE MONTH AFTER the due date of submissions for the position. I hire people in my job too – it doesn’t have to be this complex and I’d bet we’ve already lost viable candidates due to our lack of responsiveness and an irrelevant “due date”.


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