Selectmen Hire Kelliher as Interim Town Administrator
Board selected Brookline's former manager for expertise in town governance.
Belmont's Board of Selectmen last night, Nov. 7, hired long-time Brookline Town Administrator Richard Kelliher as Belmont's interim town administrator for at least until this coming summer.
That is, if both sides agree that the relationship is working as both sides expect.
"It will depend on what the expectations the selectmen have of me but a lot has to do with me," said Kelliher to Belmont Patch after the contract was signed.
"I have my own expectations so there is an uncertainty. We could say on Jan. 1 that maybe this isn't working," he said.
"But what I've heard, this is something that I continue to be interested in," said Kelliher.
Those expectations, said Selectmen Chairman Ralph Jones, include work with Assistant Town Administrator Kelli Hebert on the approaching budget process and to take charge of the coming Special Town Meeting in January especially after the experience of the annual Meeting last April "which was a little rough," said Jones.
The West Roxbury resident will make $70-an-hour working a 24-hour-a-week, which Selectman Mark Paolillo said is the going rate for the expertise Kelliher brings to Belmont.
After the signing, Belmont's town and school departments are being overseen by interim leaders, Kelliher and School Superintendent Dr. Thomas Kingston.
Kelliher spent 16 years in Brookline, from 1994 to 2010, running the day-to-day operations of the town of 58,000 residents and an annual budget greater than $185 million located snug between several Boston neighborhoods.
Kelliher was succeeded in 2010 by Belmont resident and its own former town administrator Mel Kleckner.
After "retiring," Kelliher became an staff associate at the Collins Center for Public Management at UMass Boston. And it was this association that brought Kelliher to Belmont. A Collins Center employee advised Kelliher of the opening in Belmont after current Town Administrator Tom Younger resigned on Oct. 31.
"The (Collins) Center provides technical assistance to municipalities and part of that role was to throw my name out there and (Belmont) responded," said Kelliher.
"We are very lucky to have someone like (Kelliher) available," said Jones, noting that Kelliher won praise for this work and his extensive work with the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
"It all moved pretty fast," said Kelliher.