LtE: Revisiting Town Manager Selection

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As a resident, I have provided my input as to what I would want in a Town Manager to the Select Board and other residents, via this LTE. This isn’t the first time. 

I have originally provided public comment during the “Community Forum for Town Manager Search” on 11-08-2023 (link). This was long before the Town Manager Screening Committee was formed, before any candidates’ names and resumes were put forth, and before the “Discussion on Appointment of new Town Manager” took place.

My recommendation to the board, which I acknowledge is coming from a single resident, was to seek the following qualities:

  • Experience in pursuing state and federal grants 
  • Track record in engagement with the town, which includes residents, boards & committees, and business owners 
  • Willingness to sit down with volunteers, to help them navigate the procedural landscape and achieve their goals 
  • Giving autonomy and support to staff that are seeking it, as opposed to simply driving requirements and tasks 

Nothing has changed in the last three months; I still make this recommendation. 

There isn’t a need for me to explicitly state a candidate’s name. We have had four awesome candidates make it through the process, and I am looking forward to working with whomever is chosen. Granted, I was disappointed by the Select Board’s inflexibility and resistance to doing a deeper dive in what they are looking for in a town manager this past Tuesday. 

I was initially hesitant to write this letter to the Select Board and Reading residents. However, there is a larger theme that should be emphasised. I want to stress the point that you live in this town, your voice is of value, your vote is of value, your input, engagement, and contribution as a resident is of value. Just like mine. I am not advocating for a specific item, but rather advocating for you to engage and reach out to our elected representatives in the future. 

I am also always happy to chat about how we can improve our town. I can be reached at

Genady Pilyavsky
Harriman Ave.

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