Belmont's search for a new Town Administrator is down to three finalists as a screening committee named municipal professionals from Millis, Cambridge and Braintree to be interviewed in public session by the Belmont Board of Selectmen in June.
Charles Aspinwall, Millis' town administrator, David Kale, the budget director and deputy finance director from neighboring Cambridge and Peter Morin, chief of staff and operations in Braintree were named by Selectman Ralph Jones, head of the screening committee at a 6:15 p.m. meeting in the Beech Street Center, May 10.
"We have three outstanding candidates with strong leadership experience ... and lots of years of managing municipal and we were impressed with the three finalists," said Jones.
Jones said separate public interviews with each candidate will be decided at the Selectmen's May 21 meeting with the likely dates soon after.
Jones said he wants to have a decision by June 1 so the candidate selected can provide a month's notice so he can start by July 1.
The town administrator's salary will be in the $140,000 to $160,000 range.
Working with Mary Aicardi, an associate at the Edward J. Collins Center for Public Management at UMass Boston, nearly 80 candidates responded to the town's job announcement in late February which the Collins Center whittled down to 30, said Jones.
The screening committee then reduced the number to nine – it was 10 but one candidate was hired elsewhere during the process – before coming up with the finalists.
But the screening committee was not of one mind in the selection of the final trio.
"We argued a lot coming up with the finalists," said Jones, as there were a number of candidates who came from from the private sector – "so there was a wide variety of candidates with a broad range of nontraditional backgrounds."
But in the end, the three finalists each has a great deal of experience in municipal government.
Sharon resident Aspinwall has spent 21 years as Millis' Town Administrator. He holds a Master of Public Administration from Northeastern University and a Bachelors of Arts in Urban Studies from UConn.
In 2010, Aspinwall was named the Town Manager in Abington but declined the offer a week later after meeting with town managers, telling town officials he didn't believe he was the "right fit" for the position.
Kale has been responsible for the management of the $472 million budget in Cambridge since 2003. Before working in Cambridge, Kale was the chief financial officer of the Arlington School Department. He received his BA and MBA from Suffolk University.
Morin is a graduate from George Washington University (BA) and Western New England College, School of Law. His background is the least traditional, serving as Chief of Staff/Director of Operations for Braintree since 2008. He previously worked for the Department of Corrections, Board of Registration in Medicine and the Department of Mental Retardation.