The Natick Select Board on Monday unanimously praised the 4 candidates who boldly interviewed for the town administrator job before live cameras and ultimately all voted for Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine as their top choice.
Following a comprehensive selection process in which a screening committee conducted dozens of interviews, the Select Board was presented with 4 candidates who took part in interviews watchable via Natick Pegasus as well as private roundtable interviews with the Select Board. They sought to fill a position vacated by Melissa Malone at the end of 2020 following a sometimes tumultuous 2-plus year stint, and filled in the interim by Robert Rooney.
The choice really came down to Chapdelaine, town manager in Arlington since 2012, and Jamie Errickson, Natick’s deputy town administrator and briefly its interim town administrator, described more than once as “a rising star” by the Select Board. But Chapdelaine’s experience made the difference, along with his strong answers in interviews with the board about how he has handled difficult situations in the past.
Karen Adelman-Foster, the board chair, said Chapdelaine’s “depth of experience is frankly unequaled among the finalists,” and she was “blown away” by his description of Arlington’s forward looking and predictable financial planning. Chapdelaine’s appreciation for his staff and vice-versa, also impressed, she said.
You can view the roughly half hour deliberation and vote by the Select Board in this Natick Pegasus recording:
You can view Chapdelaine’s interview in this Natick Pegasus recording and read his resume, embedded at the bottom of this post:
Select Board member Richard Jennett cited Natick’s standing as one of the state’s larger communities with a town government structure as requiring an experienced hand. “This is a complex community,” he said, noting that Natick was fortunate to get so many strong candidates considering that the pool of those qualified for such a job is relatively small.
Select Board member Paul Joseph said that Natick is positioned to assemble an all-star leadership team between its town administrator selection, Errickson, and the financial team. Joseph said he made clear during his recent campaign to join the Select Board that choosing a town administrator would be the most important decision the board would make during the next 3 years.
We’ll be curious to see if Natick new town administrator, assuming negotiations go well, will continue to have a presence on social media, as he has in Arlington.