EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 19, 2013

Plaistow manager seeks Topsfield position

Fitzgerald a finalist in Topsfield

PLAISTOW — Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald continues his hunt for a new job.

He came to Plaistow in 2008. The first inkling residents had that Fitzgerald, 43, might not be a long-term manager was his candidacy for mayor of his hometown of Peabody in 2011.

He lost that race in November 2011, promised selectmen he wouldn’t seek another elective office.

But that apparently didn’t mean he wouldn’t look for another job.

In April, he made it as far as being named one of three finalists for town administrator in Manchester, Mass. He wasn’t offered the job.

Now, Fitzgerald is one of four finalists for the town administrator’s job in Topsfield, Mass.

“Family changes have certainly made me look at some opportunities,” Fitzgerald said yesterday. “But in no way does that indicate that I’m not happy with my position with the town of Plaistow.”

Fitzgerald’s wife gave birth twins in March. They also have a 4-year-old son.

Fitzgerald received a raise and a contract extension from the town at the end of last year. His salary went to $88,000, up from $86,275.

Fitzgerald said residents shouldn’t doubt his commitment.

“Running for office is completely different than this,” he said. “I have made it clear to selectmen that elected office is not on my radar at this point.”

If he remains in Plaistow, Fitzgerald said, selectmen and residents shouldn’t be worried about his commitment to the town.

“I think they can look at my track record,” he said. “I have demonstrated a level of commitment to the community. My intention is focused on business in Plaistow.”

Selectman Daniel Poliquin said he hadn’t heard anything about Fitzgerald applying for the Topsfield job until he read it in The Eagle-Tribune yesterday.

“I don’t know what his reasoning is for wanting to leave,” he said. “Maybe it could be something with his family or it’s just a better opportunity for him. I can’t say much until we talk to him.”

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