Town Manager Finalists Revealed to Select Board

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READING, MA — In a special meeting of the Select Board on Tuesday, Bernard Lynch of Community Paradigm Associates presented the four finalists for the role of Town Manager in Reading. The Town Manager Screening Committee interviewed seven of the nineteen applicants for the position on January 2 and 3, after which Paradigm performed background and reference checks on the candidates. 

“All four have extensive experience, knowledge, and styles the Town of Reading is looking for,” Lynch declared. Lynch then shared the names of the candidates in alphabetical order.

Antonio Barletta is the Town Administrator of Nahant. He has a master’s degree in public affairs and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Prior to coming to Nahant, Barletta worked for the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Lynch noted that this experience would be helpful as Reading seeks to attain Green Communities recognition and grants. Barletta also served as a staff director and research analyst for the Massachusetts Legislature.

Matt Coogan is the Town Administrator of Boxford and has a masters degree in urban planning with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and philosophy. Before serving in Boxford, he was the chief of staff for the city administrator of Newburyport, was the town planner for Essex, and the Senior Planner in Salem. Coogan also served as a senior planner in Gloucester. Lynch stated that his background in planning and urban development would fit Reading’s needs. 

Lynch also revealed that Coogan had been charged with a first offense for operating under the influence after a vehicle crash last year. The matter was continued without a finding. Lynch added that Coogan was upfront and honest about the issue with the Screening Committee.

The third finalist is Matthew Kraunelis. Kraunelis, who has a Doctor of Law degree, is the current assistant town manager of Reading and was recently appointed as the Interim town manager. He also has a bachelor’s degree in English. Before being promoted to assistant town manager, Kraunelis was the director of administrative services in Reading. Prior to Reading, he worked for the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations and also served as the chief of staff for the Mayor of Methuen. Lynch noted that Kraunelis’s long history in Reading would be a benefit to the community.

Clancy Main, the fourth finalist, is the assistant town manager in Billerica and has a masters degree in public administration with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Before becoming the assistant town manager, Main served as the director of administrative services and a budget and management analyst in Billerica. Before Billerica, he was the executive assistant to Littleton’s town administrator and the chief of staff to former Boston City Councilor Mark Ciommo. Lynch noted that he has been active in all areas of town government in Billerica, a breadth of knowledge that would be useful in Reading.

Each of the four finalists will participate in a “Reading immersion” during the week of January 22 and will be interviewed in person by the Select Board on Saturday, January 27, starting at 9:00 am. These interviews will be in the Select Board Meeting Room in Town Hall and will be aired live on RCTV.

The Select Board adjourned at 8:10 pm.

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