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Former Townsend administrator to be paid through June 2022
Former Townsend administrator to be paid through June 2022
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TOWNSEND — The Board of Selectmen and former Town Administrator James Kreidler parted ways May 28, but Kreidler will remain on the town payroll until June 30, 2023 — an additional year beyond when his employment contract with the town was set to expire.

The newspaper learned of the details after obtaining Kreidler’s separation agreement through a public records request.

Kreidler will be paid to serve as an adviser for the town administrator’s office, working in a remote capacity. A copy of Kreidler’s employment contract signed in 2019 and the town’s website prior to Kreidler’s departure indicates that his employment with the town was scheduled to end on June 30, 2022.

As the separation agreement states, Kreidler will be paid his annual salary of $133,560. Per the agreement, the salary payments count toward his pension.

The Board of Selectmen announced the separation agreement during their meeting on May 28, citing “a result of certain differences and philosophy in the public administration” of the town.

Further details of those differences have not been discussed since by the board or Kreidler.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Veronica Kell did not return an email seeking comment. Numerous attempts to reach Kreidler have been unsuccessful.

In addition to receiving his salary, Kreidler will also be paid for accrued but unused vacation time. On July 1, 2021, Kreidler will have accrued 35 vacation days and will have accrued another 35 by July 1, 2022.

Should Kreidler receive “comparable and pensionable municipal employment” on or before the end of the agreement, a lump sum clause will be triggered. The clause would see the town pay out a lump sum of severance which includes the prorated balance of his wages, including an automobile stipend, and vacation buy back.

The agreement does leave open the possibility for Kreidler to perform some duties consistent with his former position if requested by an acting, interim, or successor town administrator, as well as through a vote by the Board of Selectmen.

However, the agreement states that unless that happens, Kreidler is not privy to information normally accessible to a town administrator, and he has no obligation, authority or privileges to represent the town in any manner.

In the wake of Kreidler’s departure, the town has operated absent an interim town administrator. However, the search is underway.

However during the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, Kell said the one applicant who has applied is considering an offer elsewhere already.

Kell further stated that the posting would soon be available on the Massachusetts Municipal Association website as well as the town website. Additionally, Kell is continuing to source possible candidates with Community Paradigm Associates and the Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management at UMass Boston.

While the board has not yet shared names of candidates they are considering, members Chaz Sexton-Diranian and Joseph Shank have both talked about having the selection process of the interim town administrator be an open one.

Last week, the board voted to establish a screening committee comprised of members from each of the five unions representing town employees included in the process, in addition to a representative on behalf of the town’s nonunion employees.