BOS - December 1, 2003 - Interviews I

BOS - December 1, 2003 - Interviews I

Postby Suzanne Kane » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:35 am

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
Interviews - I
December 1, 2003
Approved February 17, 2004


1. Call to Order:

Madame Chairman Shirley Mosczynski called the meeting to order at 6:36 pm. In Attendance: Paula Brouillette, Rich Preston, Ron Forget, Edward Therrien, and Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane.

Other staff and citizens: Administrative Secretary Jane Burle, Assessor Beth MacKay, Executive Search Committee Vice Chair Merritt Tetreault, T&G Reporter Steve Foskett, and Sentinel & Enterprise reporter Crystal Bozek.

Shirley Mosczynski stated she intends to follow the paper from MMA and Kopelman & Paige outlining the interview process. They will go around the table, allowing each member to ask questions. Shirley Mosczynski stated they would have one round of questions, and then allow a second question. The Board went over the questions asked by the Search Committee. Shirley Mosczynski stated they need to know when each candidate will be available. Rich Preston stated he found a newspaper article reporting that David DeManche’s Board just found out that he had applied for the position in Douglas and he was only in his position for two months. They are not happy with him. Paula Brouillette stated she will create a matrix on the contract of each candidate. She stated there are 15 different criteria’s and she feels some wording will be worthwhile.

Upon welcoming each candidate, Shirley Mosczynski explained that the Executive Search Committee interviewed seven candidates and presented four to the Board.

• Michael Guzinski:
Michael Guzinski thanked the Board for this opportunity. He stated he grew up in Hampton New Hampshire and went to school at the University of New Hampshire. He became interested in working in Public Services and spent the summer working for the DPW, then received his Masters in Public Administration. He was an Administrative Intern, for the Parks and Recreation Department in Dover, New Hampshire, Administrative Intern for the Town Manager of Exeter, New Hampshire, and worked for 4 years as the Town Administrator in Rowley, Massachusetts. In Rowley he had a small staff so learned to do a lot on his own. After leaving Rowley he became the Town Administrator for Blackstone, Massachusetts. He has been in Blackstone for 6 years. Mr. Guzinski stated his time at Blackstone has been a great experience and he has been involved in a number of projects which include: • 10 – 15 million dollars of Water / Sewer projects, • 13 acre recreational park, • a new Library, • and a new Middle School. These have been a large focus for him. He is now looking for new challenges and he would like to stay in the Valley. Mr. Guzinski stated he has no friends or family in Douglas, but he has heard many positive things about Douglas. Paula Brouillette asked Michael Guzinski to comment on working with diverse groups. Mr. Guzinski feels he keeps a good report through emails and the phone. He has an open door policy. He feels communication with department heads, Board of Selectmen, and different Boards are key. His style is ‘team work’ style. He likes to help. Rich Preston asked Michael Guzinski to comment on a Grant Resource within the Town. Mr. Guzinski is very supportive of having an in-house grant resource. In Blackstone they have a Community Development Group which they use to help with grants. Mr. Guzinski then went over the different grants he’s been involved with. Edward Therrien asked Michael Guzinski how his current employees describe him. Mr. Guzinski stated they would describe him as fair, decisively necessary, a team builder, a communicator, an individual who is interested in getting the job done, not the small stuff. Ron Forget asked what type of government is Blackstone and how is it similar to Douglas. Michael Guzinski stated they both have a five member Board of Selectmen with an Administrator. Blackstone is a Charter, giving him the outlining authority which can be vetoed by the Selectmen. In both Towns it’s important for the Administrator to build consensus on issues. Ron Forget asked how Blackstone decided to fund the power plant and other projects. Michael Guzinski stated they have a Capital Plan; the decision comes from the Board of Selectmen and FinCom. Ron Forget stated he feels Douglas is similar to Rowley and asked Michael Guzinski how he would handle micro management situations. Michael Guzinski stated he should be given some leeway to complete projects, as long as they fall within the parameters of the job. He stated he would never claim to know more about a fire then the Fire Chief. He feels he should let the paid department heads do their job but still follow the policies of the Board of Selectmen. Shirley Mosczynski asked how he would handle confrontational situations with staff or others. Michael Guzinski stated he would try to have a meeting with the parties involved. He has found that with the vast majority of cases; he has been successful in finding a resolution. He stated you can’t make people like each other, but they must work professionally with each other. Mr. Guzinski stated that Blackstone has EAP (Employee Assistance Program) if things get really bad, and he did use is once. Paula Brouillette asked Michael Guzinski to describe his first month as the Douglas Administrator. Michael Guzinski stated he would gather information before stepping foot anywhere. He would meet with the Board of Selectmen as soon as possible to discuss goals, projects, and problems. He would meet with department heads, and chairs of committees. He would go to different meetings and spend a lot of time with the Town Accountant going over the budget. Rich Preston explained that the Skate Park Committee is looking for a site and funding, he asked what he would do for them. Michael Guzinski stated he would be the communication conduit between the Board of Selectmen and the Skate Park Committee. He would go to their meetings and find out what they are looking for. But most important – communication. Edward Therrien asked if he feels it’s important to bring business into Town. Michael Guzinski answered yes, stating he would examine the Zoning Bylaws to maximize bringing business into Town. Business is important to benefit the tax base. He understands it’s time consuming; it’s not going to happen over night. Mr. Guzinski stated the other thing to look at is a road plan. Ron Forget stated that there is a thread that runs through the Board; that if they want to make changes, they look at other Towns for examples. He feels the examples don’t always apply to Douglas; and some people don’t want change. Ron Forget asked Michael Guzinski to comment. Michael Guzinski stated that some change is inevitable, but you can shape the change to suite your desires. You can shape laws and shape zoning to limit growth. Comparison to communities close to Boston is unfair but it could be a shadow of what is coming. Shirley Mosczynski asked Michael Guzinski to describe how he would work to get the budget down and his process for Town Meeting. Michael Guzinski stated he would work with the Town Accountant, starting in December. He would meet with the Board of Selectmen around the holidays to talk about revenue projections and what type of budget they are looking for. He would send out a policy letter to the departments. He would meet with FinCom during the budget season; building up to one meeting a week if needed. Michael Guzinski stated he would open the warrant in March and send a letter to the departments. He would close the warrant in April. He stated he usually does a Special within the Annual. Paula Brouillette asked Michael Guzinski to comment on Capital Planning and multi year planning. Michael Guzinski stated he feels it’s essential. Blackstone has spent millions through Capital Plan. He credits it for increasing their bond rating. He stated it’s an essential tool for planning as well as a political tool. Paula Brouillette stated they have found it difficult to get Boards involved, she asked how that transition happens. Michael Guzinski agreed it can be difficult, but it sometimes helps if word gets out that no Capital project will be approved unless there is a recommendation from Capital. Shirley Mosczynski asked Michael Guzinski what his involvement would be with the Capital Plan Committee. Michael Guzinski stated he serves as staff to the Committee, he is there as a resource. Rich Preston asked Michael Guzinski if he has any experience with adaptable re-use of municipal space. Michael Guzinski stated he did a little. In Rowley the fixed up an old school and put some municipal office in it. He stated they got volunteers that did the work with very little money. He stated that Blackstone has also done some. Ron Forget asked if the projects done in Blackstone were done with the money from the power plant. Could they have been done with out the Power Plant money? Michael Guzinski stated that Blackstone typically does not pass proposition 2 ½’s. Ron Forget asked how much experience Michael Guzinski has had with building. Michael Guzinski stated he worked three summers with his brother’s construction company. He has had a lot of summer jobs where he has seen all sides of things. Shirley Mosczynski asked if Michael Guzinski had any questions for them. She also asked for his time frame. Michael Guzinski stated he has to give his Board a 45 day notice, which is a clause in his contract and he also has a vacation in February. He can work things out with the Board; he would like to give Blackstone a fair notice. Shirley Mosczynski asked Michael Guzinski to put in writing what conditions he would set up in accepting this position.


• David DeManche:
David DeManche stated he is a resident of Uxbridge. He has 18 years of experience and sees the position in Douglas as a challenge and opportunity. He has a Masters in Business Administration and is currently the Chief Administrative and Financial Officer in the Town of Lunenburg. He would like to work closer to his home so that he can spend more time with his family. Paula Brouillette asked David DeManche to comment on working with diverse people. David DeManche stated he is a strong silent manager who does not micro-manage. He is a facilitator on their behalf and fosters an open door policy. He tries to establish a ‘team’ effort, trying to build consensus with Board/Department members. Mr. DeManche stated he tries to encourage an environment where the public is the ‘customer’. Rich Preston asked David DeManche to comment on the issues he feels make up the budget and the 5 million short fall. Mr. DeManche stated he would bring in economic development. He discussed ‘grantsmanship’ and what grants he has written or co-written. He discussed his experiences as project manager, all things he feels he brings to the table. Edward Therrien asked David DeManche what his most profitable achievement was in Uxbridge. David DeManche reported it was the Burnett Mill project; he wrote a small grant of $100,000 which purchased a bailey bridge, stating it was a team effort. David DeManche also stated that there was an area of contamination in a sub-division; he co-wrote a grant to bring Town water to the housing project. Ron Forget asked David DeManche how he feels about being micro-managed. David DeManche stated he would not pretend to know every job. His job is to make sure they are operating at a manageable level. His position has always been that he works for the Board of Selectmen; they are his boss. He stated he prefers that the issues of one member go through the whole board. Shirley Mosczynski asked David DeManche how he would handle a confrontational situation. Mr. DeManche stated he would sit down with both parties and try to work out the issues; he feels being direct is the best approach. Paula Brouillette asked David DeManche to describe his first priorities as Executive Administrator. Mr. DeManche stated his first priority would be to get the Budget forms out and start working on the budget, getting all parties working together. Rich Preston asked David DeManche to comment on building re-use. Mr. DeManche stated he does not have experience in this area but has participated in housing rehabilitation. Rich Preston asked David DeManche to comment on grant resources. Mr. DeManche stated he sees the Executive Administrator in that roll, but he feels it’s done as a team and he would work with the team. Edward Therrien asked David DeManche to comment on what he feels are Douglas’ weak points. Mr. DeManche stated he does not feel there are any weak points, he lives next door and feels there is nothing but opportunity. Ron Forget asked David DeManche why he wants to come to Douglas. Mr. DeManche stated he has spent most of his time in communities that he could be part of the community; he would run into people he knew at the grocery store; he was able to come in and help clean a water spill at the school. He can not do that in Lunenburg. Shirley Mosczynski asked David DeManche to comment on his role in Town Meeting. Mr. DeManche stated his role is soliciting articles, draft writing them, getting the warrant done, writing a motion book, and preparing power point presentations. Paula Brouillette asked David DeManche to comment on Capital Plan. Mr. DeManche stated he feels Capital Plan plays a critical role, stating they must maintain their infrastructure. Paula Brouillette asked how he would develop the buy-in from other departments. Mr. DeManche stated it comes down to communication. Shirley Mosczynski asked David DeManche what his role would be with Capital Planning. Mr. DeManche stated he would get the forms out to the departments, assist in filling out the forms and help the Capital Committee assemble the plan. Rich Preston asked David DeManche about his experience with recreational facilities. Mr. DeManche stated he was involved in Carlisle with bringing in little league fields, basketball courts, and a track. Rich Preston asked David DeManche to comment on the Douglas Skate Park Committee. Mr. DeManche stated he would look at grant resources, assist with locating land, and helping with the process. Ron Forget asked David DeManche to comment on the Master Plan. Mr. DeManche stated a Master Plan is developed to help our grand children, to develop through economic development, and to bring industry to subsidize tax revenues. He has done website work to help with this. Mr. DeManche stated you can control growth through planning and zoning. Preserving land through trusts and purchasing 61A land with trusts. Shirley Mosczynski asked David DeManche if he thinks getting business in is the end all. Mr. DeManche stated no, looking at Milford and Franklin, they are different types of communities. David DeManche asked the Board what they see as the most pressing issues and why. Paula Brouillette stated the Board has goals and objectives for the Administrator, the whole budget issue, education and how to manage that, looking at long range and how the Town is changing. Shirley Mosczynski asked David DeManche to forward his conditions. David DeManche stated he has to give a 60 day notice but feels he can approach his Board and ask them to work with him.

After Discussion:
Paula Brouillette stated she felt the process went well. She felt they could find a better way to articulate salary and benefit expectations. She felt both candidates were qualified. David DeManche feels technology is the priority where Michael Guzinski feels people are the priority. Paula Brouillette stated both have knowledge of the job.
Rich Preston stated Michael Guzinski has longevity, academic credentials, and good answers. Concerning David DeManche; Rich Preston stated what is on paper and what he has read, he was not impressed; but after talking to him he was impressed. David DeManche has a lot of knowledge in grants. Rich Preston’s concern with David DeManche is that his Board of Selectmen are aghast at his decision to apply to Douglas. Rich Preston believes him when he says he just wants to be close to home, however his length of time at other communities is short.
Edward Therrien stated he was told that David DeManche moves around a lot.
Ron Forget stated he is worried that David DeManche can spend some money.
Shirley Mosczynski stated concerning Michael Guzinski, everyone she has spoken to has said he is steady, works, goes to meetings, does what ever is needed, and he is certified.
Out of the two candidates, consensus of the Board was for Michael Guzinski.

2. Adjournment:
Edward Therrien made a motion to adjourn at 9:15 pm. Rich Preston seconded the motion. All – aye.

Respectfully submitted;



Suzanne Kane
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