Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


December 5, 2013

Town accountant search to start anew

Selectmen opt against two finalists for job

One candidate touted his efficiency in the workplace.

The other spoke about her skill in training employees.

But neither seemed to be the right fit for the next town accountant.

After conducting 45-minute interviews with the two finalists last week, the Board of Selectmen Monday night sought to re-open the application process, better define the position and speak with others about how Andover might attract stronger candidates.

The finalists — Charles Nickerson of Rochester, N.H., who currently serves as accounting manager for Rockingham County in Brentwood, N.H., and Karen Repucci of Topsfield, who is currently assistant town accountant in Ipswich — were selected from a six-person screening committee, which reviewed the resumes of 23 potential candidates.

Under the town charter, selectmen oversee the town accountant, including the hiring of the position.

Discussing the opening Monday, Selectman Paul Salafia said “this job was a little bigger than the candidates could provide.”

“I don’t want to discourage them in any way, because they were terrific candidates,” Salafia said. “But I think this is a job that their experience didn’t relate well enough to make me confident.”

Board Chairman Alex Vispoli said selectmen had to either “go forward with one of these two, or we repost it.”

“If we decide to open the process again, what are those things we’re looking for, and just make sure those are in the job description of the next posting,” Vispoli said.

Town Manager Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski likened the outcome to a prior talent search the town did to fill its school business manager position, which required a second go-around after the first field of candidates was deemed insufficient.

“This has a very similar feel,” Stapczynski said. “I think we went out twice, at least twice. You may want to ask (human resources director Candace Hall). Similar pool of candidates, so ask her what they finally had to do.”

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