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Shirley picks Lowell’s McGovern for town administrator

File photo
Michael McGovern

SHIRLEY — Selectmen unanimously voted Tuesday night to offer the town administrator job to Lowell Assistant City Manager Michael McGovern.

The vote came after selectmen interviewed three candidates for the position.

The other two hopefuls were Robin Muksian and Jason Silva. Muksian is an experienced municipal administrator whose recent positions include working for two Rhode Island communities, Providence and her home town of Cranston. Silva is chief of staff for a Massachusetts senator.

The three candidates were chosen from a pool of 30 applicants during a search process that began earlier this year. It was conducted by a professional recruiter, Richard White of Groux/White Consulting, LLC and filtered through a local lens via a volunteer screening committee appointed by the selectmen. The committee interviewed top picks, winnowed the field down to six, then recommended three finalists to the board.

Chairman Enrico Cappucci said he would call McGovern with the good news.

“I’ll ask him to sit down with us and our Town Counsel as soon as possible” to negotiate a contract, Cappucci said.

The salary approved at Town Meeting for the position ranges from $110,000 to $140,000, a year.

If the pay scale and the transition seem like a step down, Selectman Debra Flagg posited after the meeting on why McGovern wants to make the move. Besides reasons he cited in the interview for his interest in working for the town, such as being “excited” to be part of Shirley’s forward momentum and plans laid out in its recently-updated Master Plan, she said he has taken the time to learn about the town and seems ready to segue from city to town government management and spend more time with his family.

Flagg said she drew that conclusion from an informal sit-down with him last week, when board members met with each of the finalists, one on one.

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