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After Tense Debate, Selectmen Vote, 3-2, To Offer Vandal Town Manager Position

May 04, 2020 08:58PM ● By Lisa Redmond

Interim Town Manager Ann Vandal

DRACUT -- After a tense debate and some verbal barbs, the Board of Selectmen on Monday abandoned the Town Manager search process and voted 3-2 to offer acting Town Manager Ann Vandal a two-year contract as the new town manager.
This comes in the wake of a letter Vandal sent to the board asking that due to the workload as acting town manager and the town's chief financial officer, she asked that the board either approve a two-year town manager's contract or in 60 days allow her to return to her job as financial officer.
Selectman Chair Jesse Forcier and selectmen Alison Hughes and Joseph DiRocco voted in favor of offering Vandal the Town Manager's job citing her 20-years as a town employee and her past performance running the town.
Selectmen Tamil Dristiliaris and Tony Archinksi were vehemently opposed to Vandal being given the job arguing that it isn't fair to abandon the search process before the four Town Manager finalists to stop the search process before interviews were done. Vandal was not selected as a finalists.
Accusing other board members "backroom deals'' and "collusion,'' Dristiliaris said abandoning the search process will be "one of the biggest missteps of the Board of Selectmen.''  She and Archinski were especially upset that the board meeting, which was conducted via Zoom, did not allow for public input.
in responding to Vandal's letter, Dristiliaris said she viewed the letter "with disdain'' and described it as "arrogant, condescending'' and "bullying.''
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