Selectmen Jeffrey Levanos and Chairwoman Lily Kuzia interview former board member Carl McKinney on Thursday.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The fourth candidate for town administrator put the Selectmen in the odd position Thursday of interviewing a former colleague.
Carl McKinney served on the Selectmen for 11 years, leaving as chairman in January to apply for the town administrator post.
McKinney is the fourth, and expected to be the final, candidate. Three candidates were interviewed two weeks before; a fifth candidate had been scheduled but withdrew her application.
A new administrator could be named as soon as Tuesday. A meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday at 5 p.m.
McKinney was asked the same questions as the other candidates, and he expressed his confidence in being able to use the required software and to prioritize tasks.
He is a town native who has been involved in real estate here for 17 years, buying his first property at age 16. He also worked at North Adams Regional Hospital for 18 years, including in its former budget office. He holds a degree in business administration, with a concentration in finance and economics, and a minor in political science.
He sees himself as more of a coach, or team builder, than a commander. He said he could make a decision but would listen to other opinions and reserve the right to change his mind.
"You have to be mindful of who you're serving and what's in the town's best interest," McKinney said of negotiating conflicts.
He posed himself as a problem-solver, explaining how he had led an effort at the hospital to rectify code errors in billing. Over the next two years, the hospital posted a profit, he said.
McKinney also took the opportunity to expound on issues facing the town, a number of which he has raised in the past.
Particularly, he reiterated his stand on the low PILOT funds given to towns like Clarksburg, half of which is owned by the state.
"A lot of these communities have land owned by the state and are given paltry money and the towns are being starved of revenues," McKinney said.
The town's biggest challenges, he said, is the infrastructure, such as the expensive fix for Gates Avenue, and straightening out its finances. It was imperative to have to the town's books in order and a long-term plan in place before anything can happen, McKinney said.
He also believed it was "better to make no decision than a bad decision."
"I try to give back to the community," McKinney said. "I think I've worked hard to build a consensus community and treat people the way they should be treated."