Early Tuesday morning new Town Manager Andrew Flanagan sat in his office for the first time ever, taking up quarters on the third-floor of the high ceilinged room that overlooks Bartlet Street.
Flanagan, 30, had just recited the oath of office, issued by Town Clerk Larry Murphy, while selectmen looked on.
The town manager’s freshly minted identification badge, laying on his desk, awaited clipping to his shirt. Nearby sat a white box filled tightly with newly printed business cards, each bearing his name: Andrew P. Flanagan, Town Manager, Town of Andover, Mass.
Selectmen, on hand to welcome the town’s newest employee, laughed when one of them observed — now it’s time to get to work on the budget.
Flanagan has been familiarizing himself with the town’s budget and Capital Improvement Plan since he was hired at the end of the summer.
Flanagan has been eager to take the reins of local government after an eight-month selection process and numerous interviews.
“I’m looking forward to going to work,” Flanagan said, sitting at his desk.
He will be working on Capital Improvement Plan requests over the next few weeks with the finance team and department heads and present his fiscal 2017-2021 CIP to selectmen on Oct. 30.
This will be the seventh time Flanagan has put together a municipal budget, having carried out that responsibility in Newburyport, where he was an aide to the mayor.
Selectmen chose him for the post Aug. 12, a unanimous choice to succeed longtime Town Manager Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski, who retired in June.
Flanagan recently met Selectman Alex Vispoli to talk about Fiscal 2017 budget, in the wake of Vispoli’s tax policy approved by selectmen.
The policy sets a 2.5 percent maximum property increase for homeowners.
The selectman said he wanted to keep the tax policy simple in order to build a sustainable rate of increase.
Flanagan is on board with the policy.
“I think it helps frame the parameters in terms of budget development,” he said.
Under the town charter the town manager must submit a balanced budget to the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee.
Vispoli has been keen on starting the process early, and keeping the new town manager in the loop.
“Once you get into December you get into the vortex of the budget,” Vispoli said earlier.
Meanwhile, Flanagan’s daily calendar items Tuesday included a meeting with the director of municipal services, other departmental meetings, and a walk around the Town Offices Building to familiarize himself with the landscape and introduce himself to his new team.
Tuesday’s swearing-in was the official oath but the town will host a ceremonial oath of office and welcome ceremony for the public on Thursday.
It will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the James D. Doherty Hall at the historic Town House (also known as the Old Town Hall), 20 Main St.
Meet the new town manager, enjoy refreshments and listen to local school children sing and local dancers dance.
Performers will include the Andover High School Traveling Chamber Strings and A Cappella groups, Drifters — High Plain Elementary School Chorus, the Rhythm-Aires and Sunset Tappers from The Center at Punchard, and an original poem, “Finally Home,” by Kate Zdunczynk, of West Middle School.