Belmont Appoints New Treasurer, Human Resources Director

Photo: Belmont’s new adminstrative staff: Treasurer Leslie Davidson (left) and Kelli Spencer

The town of Belmont has filled a pair of critical administrative positions that have been empty for several months.

On Monday, June 5, the Select Board will ratify Town Administrator Patrice Garvin’s selection of Leslie Davidson of Beverly to be town treasurer and tax collector, while Kelli Spencer of Brockton has been appointed the town’s Human Resources director.

The appointments were announced at the June 5th Select Board meeting held before Town Meeting.

The annual salary and benefits for each position will be announced later.

Davidson has been treasurer in Lynnfield since November 2019. [Read about her experience before her appointment in Lynnfield in a profile in] Davidson has nearly ten years of municipal experience in the treasurers departments in Marblehead and Wenham and 14 years at Beverly National Bank as an assistant cashier. Davidson has an associate degree from North Shore Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration manga cum laude from Endicott College.

Spencer is the human resources generalist in Norwood since September 2019 and has twice been asked to be the town’s acting human resources director in the past two years. She worked in human resources in both private industry and for the US Army before coming to Norwood. Spencer enrolled at Bridgewater State University, graduating in 2012, and last month obtained her Master’s in Public Administration from Suffolk University. She is last year’s recipient of the Massachusetts Municipal Management Association’s Gerry Whitlock Memorial Scholarship, a $2,000 award given to a Massachusetts graduate student who plans on a career in local government. Her dog is named Whiskey.

Whiskey, Chief Joy Officer

Belmont’s HR Director Proves Thomas Wolfe Wrong By Taking Same Post In Hometown Of Woburn

Photo: Shawna Healey

For Shawna Healey, there were 500 reasons Belmont’s Human Resources Director will be leaving for the same position in Woburn.

The 500 is the distance in feet she’ll be traveling from the end of her driveway to the Woburn Town Hall when she begins her new job as its HR director in mid-October.

And with a 10-month-old son and an opportunity to work where she’s lived most her life, “it’s a life balance decision,” Healey told the Select Board at its Aug. 29 meeting. Healey’s final day will be Oct. 7.

“I’m fortune enough to have the opportunity to work in my hometown where I grew up and where I still live,” she said.

“I’m sorry to see you go but I can’t compete with being 500 feet from work,” said Board Member Adam Dash, who along with the rest of the board praised Healey for her work in finalizing at time contensious union contracts.

A graduate (BA) of St. Amselm College and (MBA) Southern New Hampshire University, Healey arrived in Belmont in September 2017 as assistant to than HR Head Jessica Porter. She became acting director in October 2020 before being named director in March 2021.

Healey Named Belmont’s New HR Director

Photo: Shawna Healey, Belmont’s new HR director

Shawna Healey can take the “acting” from her title as Town Administrator Patrice Garvin announced this week that the Woburn native has been named Belmont’s new director of Human Resources.

“Shawna was the obvious candidate [for the position],” said Garvin to the Select Board. “She’s experienced, solid and has the support of the staff.”

As the acting director, “she hasn’t missed a beat under some pretty hard stuff. She has been able to succeed and meet and surpass all those expectations,” said Garvin.

Healey has been the acting director since the departure of Jessica Porter in October. A non-contractional appointment, her annual salary is $108,000 with a start date of March 2. Phelan said the salary was selected after reviewing comparable salaries in surrounding towns.

Healy grew up and currently resides in Woburn. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business with a Human Resources concentration from Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire and a Masters in Business Administration in Human Resources from Southern New Hampshire University. Healey obtained a Society for Human Resource Management-Senior Certified Professional certificate in February 2020.  

Healey previously worked for Partners HealthCare in various human resource positions for five years before to coming to work in Belmont in September 2017.

Town’s HR Director To Fill In For Vacationing Town Administrator

Photo: Jessica Porter in action before the Board of Selectmen.

Jessica Porter, who spent six years as Bedford’s assistant town manager before coming to lead Belmont’s human resources department in 2015, will be taking the helm of town government as she was named “acting” town administrator by the Belmont Board of Selectmen on Monday, July 30, when the town’s administrator Patrice Garvin is out on vacation from Aug. 4 to 11.

Porter will consult with Selectmen Chair Adam Dash on all other than routine actions.

A native of upstate New York, Porter has a Master in Public Administration from Suffolk and a BA from Vermont. In Bedford, Porter worked closely with elected officials, appointed citizen committees, and town staff.  She was involved in the development of a long-term capital budget program, the town’s community preservation programs, and affordable housing programs.

Belmont Selectmen Approve Raises for Non-Union Workers

At their Monday, July 21 meeting, the Belmont Board of Selectmen approved a two percent cost of living raise for the 55 town employees not represented by unions.

The vote came after the board meet with Diane Crimmins, the town’s Human Resources Director, in executive session before the night’s meeting.

The action will impact employees such as parking control officers, budget analysts, administrative assistants and the library director, said Crimmins.

“I put in a request for these employees for a cost of living increase each year and I’m happy that [the board] approved it,” Crimmins told the Belmontonian.

“We need to stay current with what comparable towns are paying their employees so we can recruit the talent the town needs,” said Crimmins, who said she calculates the percentage increase after doing research of other municipalities along with the consumer-price index.