Finalists for Town Administrator’s Post to Meet the Public Dec. 5

Photo: Shirley Town Administrator Patrice Garvin (left) and Kevin Sweet, town administrator in Maynard.

The working group created to nominate candidates to fill the post of Belmont Town Administrator recommended two finalists who will meet with town officials, department heads and the public in the first week of December.

Shirley Town Administrator Patrice Garvin and Kevin Sweet, town administrator in Maynard were selected by the Temporary Town Administrator Screening Committee with help from the management firm of Gerux White Consulting and presented to the Belmont Board of Selectmen on Monday morning, Nov. 20.

The selectmen will vote for the new administrator at its scheduled Monday, Dec. 11 meeting after the candidates are presented to town employees and residents on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. in Town Hall.

The candidates will fill the position vacated earlier this year when David Kale returned to Cambridge after serving four years in Belmont. 

Committee chair Catherine Bowen along with Rick White of Gerux White Consulting, the municipal management consulting firm that recruits chief executives and other key staff, told the board it had whittled down the number of candidates from 19 in September to 10 and then three with one of the finalists dropping out at the last moment. Bowen noted the committee “accelerated” the process “mindful of the of the market for town administrators” is quite strong

“We would love to have more [applicants] … but we believe the remaining candidates are strong,” said Bowen, with each seasoned and with a proven track record.” 

“We were looking for candidates with the proclivity and inclination to with independent boards and residents on difficult decisions in the future,” said White. 

According to his blog site, Sweet “joined the Town of Maynard in 2009, and served in a variety of leadership roles as the Director of Public Health, Executive Director of Municipal Services and Assistant Town Administrator. On April 1, 2013, he began his tenure as Town Administrator.” Sweet received his bachelor and master of science degrees from Massachusetts Maritime Academy and a Masters in Public Administration from Norwich University.

You can find out more about Sweet here.

Garvin has been Town Administrator in Shirley since 2013. She previously served for six years as executive assistant to the Groton Town Manager and before that was recording secretary for selectmen and other boards in Chelmsford from 2004-2008. Garvin received her bachelor of science degrees in political science and sociology from Suffolk University and matriculated at Boston College where she earned her master’s in education, developmental and educational psychology.

In a recent evaluation of her job performance, Garvin received high marks from the Shirley selectmen.

Garvin has been quite active in the town administrator job market having been a finalist in three previous towns; Leicester, Upton and Easton. In September, Garvin just missed out being named Easton’s administrator, coming out on the short end of a 3-2 vote, her chances reportedly hurt by the town’s residency requirement. 

Sweet has also placed his name and experience out in the market, having been a finalist in Scituate.

“This is a big deal for us,” said Selectman Mark Paolillo on the upcoming decision. “It a big decision that will affect the town for years.”