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Westborough’s Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 (4 being present) to hire Kristi Williams as their new Town Manager, after their 2 finalist interviews on Tuesday evening June 25, 2019. The offer is contingent on a successful background check and a successful negotiation. Watch the interviews and vote here.
Ms. Williams was originally hired in 2010 as Westborough’s Assistant Town Manager/Human Resources Director and moved into the Interim Town Manager role following the departure of Jim Malloy in the fall of 2018. Over the course of the last 8 months, the town formed a search committee, sought out feedback from the community about what they would like to see in a new town manager, and engaged with an executive search committee. 31 applicants stepped forward for the Town Manager role and, of those, the committee chose to interview 5 semi-finalists. Following those interviews last week, the committee put forward to the Board of Selectmen two finalists: Williams and Leon Goodwin III. Goodwin’s resume included having served as a Town Manager in Salem, NH as well as currently serving in Mexico as a foreign service officer with the US State Department.
In their comments about Williams, Board members applauded her comments regarding the importance of community engagement, her involvement with the town’s recent strategic planning process, and working with and fostering the relationship with various stakeholders including her “strong team” of town employees. The Selectmen also commented on being impressed with what she has done to move the town forward while being in an interim role. Alan Edinberg felt that “her answers [on building trust] were very strong and laid out actions that…offered specific ideas that would be effective in that regard.” Selectman Shelby Marshall stated, prior to her motion to present an offer to Williams, “Kristi is the right fit for the current team in place…at the end of the day the right leader for Westborough.” Selectmen Emery was unable to attend the meeting due to illness.
In the initial vote taken, the Board voted 3-1 to support Williams, with Syed Hashmi as the lone dissenter. Selectmen Hashmi commented during that discussion that although he believes “Kristi is a strong leader…the question comes down to whether you want a catalyst to take the town to the next level…my vote would be for Mr. Goodwin.” Once the 3-1 vote was taken in favor Williams, Chairman Ian Johnson called for a re-vote and the Selectmen then voted unanimously 4-0 in favor of extending a conditional offer to Ms. Williams.
Williams received a Masters in Public Administration degree from Suffolk University and BA in politics from Saint Anselm’s College. She currently resides in North Grafton, which will satisfy the town’s charter requirement that the Town Manager live in Westborough or one of the contiguous communities.
As always, Westborough TV broadcast the meeting live on westboroughtv.org as well as on TV Verizon 28 and Charter 192.