Marion releases requirements, benefits for Town Administrator position

Nov 4, 2022

MARION — Applicants to be Marion’s new Town Administrator can look forward to a starting salary of plus or minus $150,000, health packages and retirement benefits, according to a recently released job description

But to fill the shoes of outgoing Town Administrator James McGrail, whose last day is on Friday, Nov. 11, the town is asking for applicants who have at least a bachelor's degree in public or business administration, five years of experience in a high-level municipal position, and myriad people-skills. 

The position’s starting salary is dependent on applicant’s qualifications, said Bernie Lynch, the founder of Community Paradigm Associates, LLC., a firm contracted by the town to hire a new town administrator.

Lynch explained that in the current job market for municipal administrators, it was important to have a salary that drew attention to the job. 

“Something to keep in mind is the marketplace,” said Lynch. “[There has been a] tremendous level of turnover happening in the municipal manager world in the last five years. Over two-thirds of towns here in Massachusetts have turned over their Town Administrators in the last five years. That’s just a staggering number. It’s reflective of the retirements taking place and the churn that happens because of this.”

Lynch added that an attractive starting salary is even more important to attract applicants to “this part of Massachusetts.”

He estimated that a pool of potential candidates should be ready by Nov. 29, and that a screening committee chosen by the Select Board could start interviews in early December.

In the past, said Lynch, Marion’s screening committee has consisted of one select board member, one town department head, and three Marion residents. 

The town has opened applications for residents interested in sitting on the screening committee. 

Interested applicants should submit an application or letter of interest to the Select Board or email by Thursday, Nov. 10. Appointments to the screening committee will take place at the Tuesday, Nov. 15 meeting of the Marion Select Board.  Interested residents should be available during the week of Dec. 5. 

In this search for a town administrator, Select Board Chair Randy Parker said he wants to involve more town department heads in the process.

“I feel pretty strongly that department heads should have a bite of the apple,” he said.