Stapczynski said the assistant town manager’s position is vital to the functioning of Town Hall. He will appoint Bucuzzo’s replacement, subject to selectmen’s approval.
“I need a high-level, right-hand assistant with the background and experience to provide assistance with all manner of things, like collective bargaining and capital planning,” Stapczynski said. “It will stay at a high level. The question is, what additional responsibilities can I put on the person to assist me with the number of reports I have? It may morph into a different range of responsibilities.”
Salafia said this may also be a chance to save money. Bucuzzo, who is scheduled to leave by November, currently earns about $125,000 a year.
“This is going to be on the agenda, to look at the position and see if it needs to be tweaked in any way,” he said. “It’s a very important position. This town has grown immensely. Our expectations for town manager have expanded.”
Bucuzzo, 49, was picked on a 4-0 vote by the Dracut Board of Selectmen during an Aug. 27 meeting. The terms of his contract are still being negotiated with Dracut. He will succeed Dennis Piendak, who is retiring in November after 26 years on the job.
Before coming to Andover, Bucuzzo had served as town administrator in Rockport. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Northeastern University in Boston and a bachelor’s in political science from UMass Lowell.
After graduating from college, Bucuzzo worked as budget and management assistant for the town of Wellesley. He also was a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Airborne Infantry.
Selectmen Chairman Alex Vispoli, who worked with Bucuzzo for nine of his years in Andover, said he was happy for him.
“It’s a good fit for Steve and a good fit for Dracut,” he said. “He’s a Merrimack Valley resident and he understands the Merrimack Valley. He’s done a lot here in Andover in all facets of the town.
“He has a real solid understanding and track record of working well in the type of town government model that is in place in Dracut, which is the same as Andover — five selectmen, town manager and an open Town Meeting from of government.”
Kowalski also offered his support to Bucuzzo.
“It’s a good opportunity for Steve to shine ... and for people to see his true potential,” Kowalski said.