WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The administrator of a similarly sized Midwestern town and a principal in a management consulting firm are the finalists to be the new town manager.
The Select Board on Monday decided on an interview schedule to consider the two finalists recommended by the Town Manager Search Advisory Committee it created this summer.
Richard Downey, the village administrator in Kronenwetter, Wis., and Debra Jarvis of Vision Values LLC in Overland Park, Kan., will meet with Town Hall staff and other stakeholders on Thursday and be interviewed by the Select Board from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday morning.
There will be a meet-and-greet for residents at the Williams Inn on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Select Board plans to meet on Friday at 1 p.m. and could make its decision as early as that session.
Jarvis brings experience in both municipal government and diversity, equity and inclusion work, a major priority for town government, to the table.
She is a retired fire chief with 25 years of experience in fire departments in the Chicago and Indianapolis areas, according to her biography on the Vision Values website.
Vision Values touts itself as building "bridges of understanding within your organization to achieve optimum performance."
Jarvis has spent the last 10 years doing leadership, management and DEI consulting. She has completed a certificate program in diversity, equity and inclusion at Cornell University, the firm's website says.
Downey has served as village administrator in the central Wisconsin town of Kronenwetter since 2012.
On his Linkedin bio, he lists his specialties as "union negotiation, economic development, human resources, grant administration, local and state government."
Economic development was a major priority for town officials when they hired Williamstown's previous town manager, Jason Hoch, in 2015. Hoch resigned this winter after a tumultuous six months following the release of a federal lawsuit against him, the town and the former police chief, who reports directly to the town manager.
Prior to arriving in Kronenwetter, a town of 7,800 according to the 2010 U.S. Census, Downey served as an administrator in several Midwest communities.
He was city administrator from 2000-03 in Elkhart, Kan.; from 2003-11 in Rock Falls, Ill.; and for three months in 2011 in Washington, Ill.
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