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Reilly and Holcomb to lead search committee

NORTH ATTLEBORO – The town’s police chief and school superintendent will play prominent roles in the hiring of a permanent town manager.


Chief John Reilly was elected chair of the town manager screening committee by an 8-1 vote. Superintendent Scott Holcomb was unanimously chosen clerk on Thursday.


Town council president Keith Lapointe opened the meeting by thanking committee members on behalf of the residents and town council. “The work that you’ve agreed to do is really important to the future of the town,” Lapointe said.


The committee will be working with consulting firm Community Paradigm Associates to narrow the pool of applicants into finalists to be interviewed by town council.


A handful of the 26 applicants are expected to be interviewed by the screening committee at their meeting on December 9. The interviews will be conducted in executive session.


Three or four of those semifinalists will then advance to a round of interviews with the town council.


Community Paradigm founder/principal Bernie Lynch gave the committee a brief orientation.


“I think we did well,” Lynch said. “We had 26 applicants for the position; that’s in line with what we’ve been seeing in a number of other communities,”


Acting Town Manager Michael Gallagher announced last month that he will not be a candidate for the permanent position.


Gallagher told the council that he decided to seek a new challenge in his life and may return to the private sector. He was the town administrator before he became the acting manager when North Attleboro changed to a town manager/town council form of government on July 1.


Voters approved the change in government by an overwhelming majority in April.


The council and Gallagher agreed to a contract extension through the end of the fiscal year on June 30, so he can help with the transition.


Thursday’s meeting can be seen on North TV’s Government Channel: Comcast 98 and Verizon 23 and on northtv.net.


Click below to view highlights of the committee’s meeting.