New town admin hired
Former Foxboro Town Manager Kevin Paicos, who at the end of October will retire as an officer from the Army National Guard, has been named Jamestown’s next town administrator. The Town Council made the unanimous decision during a public meeting Tuesday morning.
Paicos, 60, starts Thursday. He will work three days a week while he exhausts his notice as the interim town administrator of Northfield, Mass. Paicos has a career in public service that spans almost four decades, including nearly 30 years managing the Massachusetts towns of Foxboro, Hingham, Ashburnham, Winchendon, Easton and Dover. His longest stay as town administrator was a 15-year stint in Easton, a 30-square-mile town of about 20,000 residents where he was responsible for 180 full-time municipal workers.
“Jamestown is a beautiful and charming community,” Paicos told the search committee. “We have found its people to be equally gracious and friendly during our many visits.”
Paicos outlasted 27 applicants. From those candidates, the search committee dwindled the hopefuls down to seven, interviewed them via teleconference, and then made a final cut. The remaining three candidates were interviewed by the entire council.
Paicos most recently made headlines as Foxboro’s town manager. He was an outspoken opponent against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s proposal to build a $1 billion casino at Patriot Place.
“That’s a way to wreck a town,” said Gene Mihaly, who, along with Blake Dickinson, represented the Town Council on the search committee. “I can’t think of a better reason to leave. He’s going to be a real asset to our town.”
Before offering Paicos a contract, Mihaly was put in charge of vetting the candidate. Mihaly said he was “taken aback” by the overwhelming positives by people who had every reason to be “brutally candid.”
According to Town Councilor Mary Meagher, there was a “significant background check.” Council President Kristine Trocki said it was a “very thorough process.” In the end, the council got the man it wanted.
“He was the first choice of the search committee,” said Meagher. “He knows the community. He’s come here quite often.”
Paicos will be paid $105,460 annually. He will also receive $200 a month for travel expenses and a $1,000-monthly stipend for housing. According to Meagher, however, when the benefits package is taken into account, Paicos will be compensated less than former Town Administrator Bruce Keiser.
Tuesday’s vote was a continuance of the previous night’s meeting. The council first met on Oct. 7 in executive session from 5 to 7 p.m., adjourned, and then met for its regularly scheduled meeting. Following the open session, the councilors went back behind closed doors to continue their discussion on the vacant post.
When they met the following day at 8:45 a.m., the councilors immediately voted to come out of executive session and held the vote soon after. The meeting lasted 15 minutes. The audience essentially consisted of the department heads.
Paicos received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and earned his master’s in public administration from Northeastern. In the Army, where he will retire on Halloween as a captain after 41 years of service, he is a paratrooper in the Special Forces. He was deployed to Afghanistan for combat most recently in 2007.
One unknown with the hiring, according to Trocki, is that Paicos’ wife works in Brockton, Mass. Ann Paicos is employed by Health Management Associates, a medical consulting company.
“He respects her role and position in the family,” said Trocki. “It’s a balancing act we’re trying to achieve right now.”
The Paicos family plans to move to Jamestown before the month is over. Trocki expects the couple will keep their house in Massachusetts and their apartment in Jamestown.
According to Trocki, there will be a six-month review process. “We’ll be taking a pulse along the way to make sure this was the right fit for Jamestown.”
Paicos was asked via email Tuesday about becoming Jamestown’s next town administrator. He is anxious to get started.
“I am extremely excited about being the new town administrator,” he said, “and am looking forward to working with a citizenry that is incredibly actively engaged, and a truly wonderful council.”