GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

April 12, 2013

Administrator accepts Manchester job, pending talks

By James Niedzinski
Staff Writer

---- — MANCHESTER — Lenox Town Manager Gregory Federspiel said Thursday he plans to come from the other end of the state to accept a job as the new Manchester Town Administrator, pending his contract negotiation.

“I’ve had my eye on the North Shore for a little bit,” he said Thursday in a phone interview with the Times.

Federspiel, 54, said he has a son who lives in the Boston area and his mother lives in New Hampshire, so the move would bring him closer to his family. He was previously the runner up for a town manager position in Ipswich.

“I’ve been very happy here (in Lenox),” he said, “but I need to look ahead as well.”

He also cited the high level of community involvement in Manchester as a reason for coming to the north shore.

“I like working in small communities,” Federspiel said. “You get a lot of immediate feedback, and I enjoy that.”

The Dartmouth College graduate has been at his position in Lenox since 1999, after serving as the town planner in Stowe, Vt., for four years and the town manager there for another six.

Lenox has a population of 5,077 people, close to Manchester’s population of 5,472.

Lenox is a designated green community and the town is in the process of constructing solar panels for municipal use, Federspiel said.

“He’s very environmentally aligned,” Lenox Selectmen’s Chairman Ken Fowler said of Federspiel.

Manchester voters, meanwhile, approved a number of warrant articles at last week’s Annual Town Meeting – including a ban on single-use plastic bags distributed by food markets and other stores, and is also working toward making the town eligible for a designated green community status.

Fowler said Manchester will be getting a superb employee.

Fowler said he knew Federspiel was looking elsewhere, but just found out Thursday morning that Federspiel had accepted the conditional Manchester position. Federspiel was chosen from among three finalists by Manchester’s selectmen Wednesday night.

“My initial response was ‘too bad for us,’” Fowler said. “He’s been a real asset to this town.”

He added that Federspiel agreed to a three-year extension to his contract with Lenox last year.

Lenox Town Treasurer Marie Duby said Federspiel’s starting salary in 2000 was $71,143 and as of 2012 his annual salary was $112,537.

Manchester voters approved a salary of $125,000 for the position at the Annual Town Meeting, although officials said that will not necessarily be his annual salary. Contract negotiations could take about two weeks, officials said.

Town Administrator Wayne Melville has taken an interim role after announcing he was leaving his position in November of last year; his ending annual salary was pegged at $115,000.

Manchester officials hope to have the position filled by June 1.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at jniedzinski@gloucestertimes.com.