GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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June 26, 2013

Manchester administrator settles in

Federspiel has busy first day on the job

MANCHESTER — The first day at a new job can be hectic; the town’s new administrator Gregory Federspiel can attest to that.

He spent Monday speaking firefighters, police officers, Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School officials, selectmen, the harbormaster and other town employees.

That’s not to mention attending the award ceremony at the regional school, which formally received its Green Ribbon award from the U.S. Department of Education for environmental commitment. And it also doesn’t account for the town’s seeking a new, permanent director of the Department of Public Works, and deciding whether to accept about 10 acres of land from the owner of the Manchester Athletic Club.

“So far so good, no regrets yet,” Federspiel quipped. “There have been a lot of introductions so far.”

Federspiel said he had been briefed on some of the issues facing the town, such as finishing the cleanup of the former burn dump site on Pine Street, confronting infrastructure problems facing the town, and dealing with a mooring replacement offer from the Massachusetts Port Authority.

Even with his work cut out for him, Federspiel said the previous Town Administrator Wayne Melville did a superb job by informing him of Manchester’s ins and outs.

“I really appreciate all the work he has done to make this a smooth transition,” Federspiel said.

Melville retired with an ending annual salary of $115,000; Federspiel’s annual starting salary will be $125,000.

The Dartmouth College graduate held the top position in southern Berkshire County community of Lenox since 1999, after working 10 years for the town of Stowe, Vt. His ending annual salary in Lenox was about $112,000.

Lenox, which sits at the base of the Berkshire mountains, has a population of about 5,077 people compared to Manchester’s estimated 5,472. And Lenox is a designated green community that, under Federspiel, began construction of solar panels.

Manchester passed a number of environmentally friendly articles at the Annual Town Meeting in April.

Federspiel, who previously said he’s a fan of the waterfront, enjoyed Manchester of what he has seen so far.

“It’s a wonderful community,” Federspiel said of Manchester.

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

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