SHIRLEY — Soon after the resignation and subsequent departure of former Town Administrator Patrice Garvin earlier this year, the selectmen hired Travis Miller as interim administrator. His temporary term was expected to last several months while a search for a new town administrator was conducted.
A former municipal management consultant who had never been an administrator before, Miller had signaled his aim to apply for the permanent position. He started in early January and abruptly left last month.
Asked to explain this departure, the selectmen declined to do so, citing the confidentiality of personnel matters. All discussion of the issue took place behind closed doors in executive session.
The board has since hired another interim, Rocco Longo, a who recently retired as town administrator in Marshfield and previously served in Billerica. BOS Chairman Enrico Cappucci, a retired police chief, drew on his past professional relationship with Longo to enlist his help now. “I asked him…” to come in, Cappucci said.
The board voted to hire Longo at a public meeting a couple of weeks ago.
He is expected to stay on throughout the search process, which Cappucci hopes will wrap up before Town Meeting in May.
And matters with the former interim administrator have now been settled. The board and Miller recently reached an accord that effectively closes the chapter, if not the book.
“The Board of Selectmen and Interim Town Administrator Travis Miller mutually agreed to terms of a separation agreement,” Cappucci said in a recent phone call. He cited an e-mail from Town Counsel that basically told him what he could say.
The agreement states that Miller agreed to resign, that he would remain on administrative leave until April 1 and that during that time he would have “no active role in town government,” Cappucci said.
Meanwhile, Interim Town Administrator Rocco Longo is helping the board deal with unfinished business and move forward as the Town Administrator search continues, conducted by a professional consultant and a volunteer search committee, handpicked and appointed by the selectmen.
Cappucci said the contract the board negotiated with Longo in executive session would be signed at the next regular meeting.