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Board Agrees on New Deal for Kreidler

October 27, 2017

TOWNSEND - Hours after the chairman of the Board of Selectmen proclaimed a “new era” with the swearing-in of a full-time police chief and deputy chief, the board voted to extend Town Admin-istrator James Kreidler’s contract into 2022.

Kreidler will receive a three-year contract extension running through June 30, 2022. In an interview, he said he is pleased to commit to more time in Townsend, especially with the fire and police chiefs both under contract until 2020.

“It’s a fair reflection of what is warranted,” Kreidler said. “I think it fits into a general theme of locking down upper leadership.”

The contract extension has not yet been signed - selectmen voted to approve it on Oct. 17, but have to execute it outside the meeting - but Kreidler said the language and compensation are the same as his existing contract save for a $100 per month increase to his auto allowance beginning in 2019.

Kreidler was paid $122,188 in fiscal year 2017 under his old contract.

His salary could be renegotiated in fiscal year 2018, although it is not immediately clear whether that occurred.

The original contract also paid him a monthly stipend of $300 per month for auto allowance.

Selectmen voted once in executive session on the contract, the result of which is not known, and 3-0 in open session to approve it.

Selectman Sue Lisio voted in open session to approve the contract, but when reached by The Voice, she said she “really ha(s) no opinion” on it.

When asked if she believes the contract is good for the town, Lisio said the answer is ” complicated because that has to do with the executive session discussion.” “I personally don’t think that we should have anything beyond a three-year contract,” she said. “But that’s just my general opinion.”

Lisio declined to discuss the contract further until minutes from the executive session negotiations are released. Gordon Clark and Cindy King, the other two selectmen, could not be reached for comment.

The vote to extend Kreidler’s contract came after a formal swearing-in for the new police chief and deputy chief last Tuesday. Rick Bailey, who had been serving as interim chief since April, is now the permanent chief on a threeyear contract. James Sartell, who retired as chief from Hollis, New Hampshire to take the job, became deputy chief.

Speaking at that ceremony, Clark praised the two men as a sign of growing stability in a town that had been racked for months with political controversy and turnover at the police department amid internal investigations.

“Today marks a new era of policing here in Townsend,” Clark said at the time. “Tonight is about looking ahead.”

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisLisinski.