The Select Board has been operating with less than optimal administrative support. This was validated by the report of the Ad Hoc Town Manager Committee which is viewable here.
Faced with the choice between a Town Manager and a Town Administrator, the Select Board decided that a Town Administrator was the best first-step for Rollinsford. A future Board could certainly advocate to change the form of government to a Town Manager but this Board felt that keeping the current form of government and adding an Administrator was more appropriate. This will keep more authority with the Select Board, easing Rollinsford into this change in administration.
Last night the Select Board took the historic step of appointing Caroline Kendall to the new position of Town Administrator. This was an action that took many months of deliberation. The Board has felt as though it was time, after years of conversation and bemoaning the lack of administrative support, to take this important step. This will not immediately solve any administrative support problems as it is only a change in title. The goal is, with the passing of the budget, to hire a part-time bookkeeper to assist Caroline and free her time to fulfill more Town Administrator duties.
Caroline has served on the School Board, Budget Committee, CIP Committee prior to her employment with the Town. She has also served on the Planning Board and is a Water and Sewer District Commissioner. This past December Caroline graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Hampshire with her Masters of Public Administration. The Board wanted to recognize that many of the functions Caroline has been filling are Town Administrator duties. With her job experience, prior board and committee experience and her education, we felt it was logically the next step in the progression of advancing administrative support for the Town.
Here is a link to the job description for this position. Note that it is long and very comprehensive. The Board addressed in our offer letter to Caroline that we fully understand that without additional support there are many functions that will continue to go unserved. However, we felt as though it is important for us all to recognize what this job should be and what we are striving to achieve.
Most employees who currently report directly to the Board will continue to do so. The only change in organizational structure is that the Building Inspector, Janitor, minute-takers and Bookkeeper (should that new position get approved) will report directly to Caroline.
We hope that you will embrace Caroline in this new position. This is a transition period and we are all learning as we go. The Board is committed to evaluating the situation as it evolves and hope that you all will offer Caroline your congratulations and support.