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Selectmen seek administrator contract talks.

Byline: Paula J. Owen

PRINCETON - The Board of Selectmen has instructed the town's consultant to set up a meeting with town administrator candidate John I. Lebeaux to begin contract negotiations Monday in executive session.

Mr. Lebeaux, a selectman in Shrewsbury the last 11 years, is one of five finalists selectmen interviewed Tuesday.

Selectman Alan M. Sentkowski said all five finalists met the criteria the town is looking for, but selectmen were most interested in Mr. Lebeaux. However, they have not dismissed the other candidates, he said.

"He just seems like just the kind of person that would fit in this job," Mr. Sentkowski said. "A lot of this is about chemistry - will this person fit in this town to do what directly needs to be done? That is important criteria for us."

Mr. Lebeaux said he is in the process of closing his family business, Shrewsbury Nurseries, after 27 years. As one of five selectmen in Shrewsbury, Mr. Lebeaux said, he has a great deal of experience working with the town manager to operate the town.

He said he is interested in the position in Princeton for its reputation and proximity to Shrewsbury - his hometown the last 27 years.

"Princeton is a lovely town and has a reputation of being a progressive, well-run community," he said. "I am looking for new opportunities in my life right now and I am interested in public service and policy and decided to pursue it."

He said he and his wife, a social worker, both graduated from Shrewsbury High School and consider themselves "townies." He said the position does not require he live in Princeton, and he and his wife plan to continue to live in Shrewsbury if contract negotiations are successful.

The other four finalists interviewed were Greenfield Mayor Christine Forgey; former Adams Town Administrator William F. Ketcham; Wareham interim Town Adminstrator John Sanquinet; and an employee of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority, whose name was not available.

Department heads have been handling town operations in Princeton since the end of April, when interim Town Administrator Jill R. Myers left to fill the town administrator's position in Kingston.

Ms. Myers was contracted through the Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, after the death of former Town Administrator Dennis E. Rindone March 1.

The Collins Center was also hired by selectmen to search for a permanent town administrator. More than 30 applications were received.

The position is advertised with an annual salary range of $70,000 to $100,000. Selectmen hope to have a new administrator on board by July 1.

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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jun 17, 2009
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