Administrator Peter I. Hechenbleikner will join the Town of Amherst as Temporary Town Manager beginning February 1, 2016.
“We have been so fortunate to have our current leadership team in place during this challenging period,” said Select Board Chair Alisa V. Brewer. “As we grieve our recent loss of Town Manager John P. Musante, and as our Finance Director Sanford “Sandy” M. Pooler prepares to leave for Arlington, we continue forward by welcoming our first Economic Development Director,
Geoffrey Kravitz, and now Peter Hechenbleikner as our Temporary Town Manager. We are confident Peter has a wealth of experience in all areas of effective municipal management that will serve us well through this next transition period.”
Hechenbleikner said “I am excited to be appointed by the Select Board as Amherst’s Temporary Town Manager beginning February 1, and anticipate that I will begin some transition work even before that date. Amherst has some very exciting initiatives going on, and I look forward to working with the Select Board and senior staff and Department Heads on making progress on these initiatives, as well as managing the routine affairs of the Town. It will be a challenge to handle all of this within the hours available, but I have a lot of experience and am a quick study, and with the help of elected and appointed volunteers and staff, I am confident that this will be a smooth and effective transition.”
“I look forward to working collaboratively with Peter to forward the goals of the Select Board, and to work with other Department Heads to support him as he learns about our community,” said Interim Town Manager M. David Ziomek. Ziomek will continue his work as Assistant Town Manager and Director of Conservation and Development, and serve as the lead for many projects, including co-chairing the University-Town of Amherst Collaborative (UTAC), serving on the Business Improvement District (BID) board, and developing solar energy projects as authorized by Town Meeting.
Terms of the Hechenbleikner Temporary Town Manager contract were agreed to in Executive Session December 14, 2015, and will be approved by formal vote in open session at the
December 21, 2015 Select Board meeting.
The Select Board hopes to have a new permanent Town Manager in place by the late spring or early summer of 2016. The process for hiring the new permanent Town Manager will be a regular topic of discussion at Select Board meetings for the next several months. Bernard Lynch, Principal at Community Paradigm Associates, LLC will have his initial consultation with the Select Board at 6:30 pm December 21, 2015. The Select Board encourages our entire community to consider what characteristics, skills, and experiences they hope for in our next permanent Town Manager, and to provide input via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Select Board is committed to a process that is open to public view and participation.
The Hechenbleikner Temporary Town Manager contract will be available on the Town Manager Search 2015-2016 section of the Select Board page of the Town website www.amherstma.gov/selectboard or http://amherstma.gov/2201/Town-Manager-Search-2015-2016 on Tuesday December 22, 2015.