Sandy Pooler, deputy town manager/finance director, will serve as the interim town manager after current manager Adam Chapdelaine’s last day on June 17, the Select Board unanimously voted Monday, May 16.
“Mr. Pooler has been identified to serve beginning on June 18, subject to negotiations with him,” said board member Steve DeCourcey.
Section 12(b) of the Town Manager Act states, “When a vacancy occurs in the office of town manager . . . the Select Board shall appoint . . . not later than 90 days after such vacancy occurs . . . a qualified officer of the town as acting manager for the balance of the unexpired term.”
May go past 90 days
Pooler’s term, however, may extend past the 90 days after June 17, explained DeCourcey.
“If we hire Pooler, he would have to stay until 2025, and he doesn’t plan to stay until then. The Town Manager Act has limitations in what we can do, and we may want to think about changing it. In the short term, it makes sense to authorize Sandy Pooler to be the interim town manager,” said DeCourcey.
Pooler told YourArlington May 18 that he plans to retire "before before 2025. I will be in negotiations about an end date."
Board member Eric Helmuth added, “It’s a logical next step. I look forward to learning more about Pooler’s suggestions, and to see what the best of course of action would be.”
Pooler's current annual salary is $149,719. When he was hired in January 2016, his annual salary was $120,000.
The terms and conditions of him serving as town manager will be discussed between him and the Select Board, Caryn Cove, personnel director, told YourArlington on May 17.
When he began in Arlington as deputy town manager, his first day was Monday, Jan. 25, and a Special Town Meeting was held that night.
Watch the ACMi video of May 16 Select Board meeting:
Then 59 and living in Somerville, he left as finance director for the Town of Amherst, in western Massachusetts, which he has held since 2011.
Asked at the time why he wants to serve Arlington, he gave three reasons:
"I know Arlington is a well-run community, and I value its commitment to solid financial management and fiscal transparency," he wrote in an email Jan. 7.
Then two personal connections: "I have known Adam Chapdelaine for many years and like and admire him. Working for a good boss and with good colleagues has always been a priority for me."
Last, "I have known Al Tosti even longer and know the Finance Committee is committed to the highest standards of fiscal policy." Pooler is referring to the Fincom's longtime chairman whose connection to fiscal issues in town goes back four decades.
Background, manager search firm
Before Pooler was finance director for the Town of Amherst, he was chief administrative officer for the City of Newton from 2006 to 2009 and was Newton's chief budget officer from 1998 to 2005. From 1989 to 1997, he was the staff director, Committee on State Administration, for the Mass. House of Representatives.
Pooler has master's in public administration (1998) from the Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard; a Juris Doctor (1988), University of California at Los Angeles School of Law; and a bachelor's from Dartmouth College (1979).
The Select Board has chosen Community Paradigm Associates of Plymouth, at a cost of $14,000, to conduct an executive search for a new town manager.
This news summary, by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert, was published Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Bob Sprague contributed.