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Townsend, Town Administrator James Kreidler agree to separate ways

Vice-Chairman of the Townsend Board of Selectmen, Joseph Shank, reads a statement regarding the separation between Townsend and Town Administrator James Kreidler.
Vice-Chairman of the Townsend Board of Selectmen, Joseph Shank, reads a statement regarding the separation between Townsend and Town Administrator James Kreidler.
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TOWNSEND — Town Administrator James Kreidler is out.

“As a result of certain differences and philosophy in the public administration that have arisen between Town Administrator James M. Kreidler, Jr. and the current Townsend Board of Selectmen, Jim Kreidler has separated from the town in a no-fault agreement with the Board of Selectmen,” Joseph Shank, vice-chairman of the Board of Selectmen read from a statement following a Board of Selectmen meeting on Friday.

Shank continued reading from the statement:

“The board and Mr. Kreidler have reached an agreement to address the balance of certain contractual benefits under his existing employment contract with the town. Mr. Kreidler has agreed to serve as an adviser to the office of the town administrator. The goal shared by Mr. Kreidler and the town and contemplated by this agreement is to ensure that the town’s interest in pending matters is fully protected and that there is a smooth transition in the office.”

According to the town’s website, Kreidler is contracted through June 30, 2022. Kreidler first entered the role in December 2015 on an interim basis and accepted the position on a permanent basis six months later. Before coming to Townsend, he previously served as town administrator in Winchendon and Ayer.

The board will look to make an interim hire to replace Kreidler. However, they did not share plans for how they will proceed with making the hire. In the absence of a town administrator, forms normally signed by the administrator will be processed by the board.

Additionally, the board did not speak to the specific differences that led to the separation. However, the Sun reported on a back-and-forth between Kreidler and Chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen Veronica Kell over a salary increase.

At the Annual Town Meeting on May 8, Kreidler received the same salary for the fiscal year 2022 as FY21, despite most employees receiving increased compensation including the fire chief.

In January it was announced that Kreidler was one of three finalists for the town administrator opening in Yarmouth, Mass., and participated in public interviews for the position. Yarmouth’s Board of Selectmen appointed Bob Whritenour over Kreidler and Joe Powers.