Hadley town administrator makes final cut in Palmer

Hadley Town Administrator Carolyn Brennan has been named a finalist for the same position in Palmer. She started in Hadley in September 2020.

Hadley Town Administrator Carolyn Brennan has been named a finalist for the same position in Palmer. She started in Hadley in September 2020. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 02-13-2024 1:18 PM

HADLEY — Carolyn F. Brennan, Hadley’s town administrator since mid-September 2020, is a finalist to become town manager in Palmer.

Brennan and Brad Brothers, assistant town manager in Plymouth, were announced as finalists to the Palmer Town Council Monday, said Council President Barbara Barry.

The Palmer Town Council will conduct interviews with the finalists on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m., with a meeting scheduled for Feb. 26 to choose the next town manager.

Palmer’s last town manager, Ryan McNutt, resigned in October from the position paying an annual salary of $136,460.

Brennan, a Wilbraham resident who chaired the Select Board in that community, sent an email to Hadley employees Monday explaining an opportunity to work closer to her home became available.

“The final interview is next week, and I anticipate a choice will be made next Friday or the following Monday (2/26),” Brennan wrote in the email. “The decision to apply was difficult, but freeing up eight hours of my week from commuting was an important aspect to consider.”

Brennan, Hadley’s third permanent town administrator, initially worked alongside David Nixon, who served as the town administrator for 15 years. Prior to coming to Hadley, a town she was familiar with from her time as an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts and work at the former Shady Lawn Rest Home, Brennan was the director of the East Longmeadow Council on Aging.

Last April, the Select Board, following a positive performance review, ratified a three-year contract with Brennan that paid her $114,572 starting July 1, 2023, with the annual base pay to increase by 15% effective both July 1, 2024 and July 1, 2025, meaning her salary would go to $131,758 and then $151,251. The new contract also had provisions for merit salary adjustments at the Select Board’s discretion.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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