Simsbury selects interim town manager
By Paul Palmer
SIMSBURY – The Board of Selectmen has voted to hire town resident Lee Erdmann as the long-term interim Town Manager. He will be replacing current Town Manager Maria Capriola who made a surprise announcement in March that she would be stepping down as of May 1. Erdmann will officially come onboard on June 1, and Simsbury is going to need to name a short-term interim Town Manager for the month of May.
Erdmann’s resume includes stints as the former chief operating officer of Hartford; town manager of Enfield; town manager of Wethersfield; and chief administrative and financial officer of Springfield, MA. In addition, he was the interim executive director of the New London Housing Authority during his 39 years in municipal government. Erdmann resides in Simsbury and at least one member of the Board sees that as a plus.
“I think he’s emotionally invested for this to work,” said Selectman Chris Peterson
The initial contract calls for a 3-month appointment, that can be renewed for another three months, but Erdmann’s last day must be Dec. 22, 2023 due to a previous family commitment. He will be paid $14,500 per month and either be provided with a vehicle or given a vehicle allowance of $500.00 per month while he serves.
“We are happy to have Lee Erdmann join the Town of Simsbury as our Interim Town Manager and to assist in the search for our permanent one,” said First Selectman Wendy Mackstutis. “He brings with him a wealth of experience, having served in leadership roles across multiple municipalities. I look forward to working with him. “
Current town Management Specialist Tom Fitzgerald is serving as the Acting Deputy Town Manager until the short-term interim Town Manager is named. Melissa Appleby, the past Deputy Town Manager, will be returning to the newly created Budget Director position in June.
The Board of Selectmen will begin work with a consulting group to conduct the search for a permanent Town Manager. The Town Attorney and Erdmann will also be a part of the evaluation process. Several members of the Board of Selectmen said it will be critical for members of the community to have input into the search for the next Town Manager in Simsbury.
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