Northborough selectmen appoint interim town administrator

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Northborough selectmen appoint interim town administrator
Northborough Town Hall stands on Main Street. The Board of Selectmen have appointed Bob Reed as the interim town administrator. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

NORTHBOROUGH – As the search for a new town administrator gets underway, the Board of Selectmen have appointed Bob Reed as interim administrator.

The selectmen made the appointment during their April 3 meeting. Reed was one of three interims under consideration, including Kevin Flynn and David Marciello.

His local government experience began while Reed worked on the staff of what was then known as the Massachusetts League of Cities and Towns.

After, Reed began working in the City of Worcester – where he is originally from – before going back to school to earn his master’s degree in public administration. Throughout his career, Reed worked in Sutton, Kingston, Hatfield, Westport and Sherborn. He was last the town administrator of Leicester, where he worked for nine years before his retirement in 2013.

“I think retirement is one of those things that you don’t really understand until you’re there,” Reed said. “I thought I was ready for it. I had books to read, the projects and the house projects and so forth.”

After a few months, that got old and there was something missing, Reed said. Out of the blue, Reed received a phone call from the town manager of Southbridge, who was leaving and asked if he was interested in becoming the interim.

Since 2014, Reed has served as acting town manager and acting town administrator in several Massachusetts communities, including Southbridge, Princeton, Upton, Rutland, Hopedale and, most recently, Sturbridge.

“The interim positions have been good for me, both professionally and personally,” said Reed.

Northborough has a reputation of being a stable and well-run community, he said.

He said the first responsibility of an interim town administrator is to make sure that the “organization doesn’t skip a beat” and the transition is as smooth as possible. Reed said the first thing he would do is to learn from both the selectmen and staff what is time sensitive and getting involved with the projects and issues before the town.

“My approach to the interim position has been the same as if I were the full-time administrator, the same … dedication, the same application to the position,” Reed said.

Reed said he had an “open” management style, and the selectmen would have his cell phone and could come talk with him. He said he looked at himself and department heads as being equals and liked walking around and talking with department heads.

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