Nutting named Interim Town Administrator
By Theresa Knapp
At its meeting on Nov. 21, the Hopedale Select Board unanimously named Jeffrey Nutting as its Interim Town Administrator, replacing Diana Schindler who left in November.
Select Board Chair Glenda Hazard said the town had received five applications and the board would interview three candidates.
During his interview, Nutting said, “I have a lot of history here…I learned to fly at the airport and I worked down there…My dad ran a company here, he lived here for 20 years, my sister lives here, I love the town. I love your park and your walkover around the bridge. I have a long history here in Hopedale; you’re a unique community and I’d like to be able to help you during this transition like I have other communities.”
Nutting lives in Franklin where he served as Town Administrator from 2001 until retiring in 2019. He also served in various municipal positions in several towns for many years. He grew up in Medway, where he joined the Finance Committee at age 20, and he worked for many years as a consultant with the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
Select Board member Bernie Stock and Interim Executive Assistant Martha White both lauded Nutting for his work in guiding Franklin through its rapid growth spurt after the expansion of Route 495.
The board also interviewed Robert Reed of Medway and Greg Balukonis of Milford.
Reed lives in Medway and worked as Town Administrator in Leicester for nine years before retiring in 2013. Since that time he has had several interim and acting positions, including a six-month stint in Hopedale from Oct. 2019 to April 2020 during Hopedale’s previous search that resulted in Schindler being hired.
During his interview, Reed said, “I enjoyed Hopedale when I was here, a lot of challenges. I think a lot of the challenges probably remain but I think people in this profession are looking for a challenge, that’s what they do.”
Balukonis lives in Milford and described himself as “a career Town Administrator” for more than 36 years, two of those years (1991 to 1993) as Hopedale’s Town Administrator. He retired in 2019 and has worked in interim positions since, including as Town Administrator in Dudley for five years and North Reading for nine years.
During his interview, Balukonis said he enjoyed working for the town many years ago.
“It was enjoyable. My impression was it was a neat little town…It’s almost deja vu,” he said. “Something about wanting to work in a community where you were at, at a young point in your career.”
After the interviews, Chairperson Hazard said, “I think we’re super lucky to have an abundance of qualified candidates so I don’t think we can really make a wrong decision.”
Nutting’s appointment was contingent on negotiations. He said during the interview that his rate is $75 per hour and he would not require supplemental benefits. He started the position in December.