EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

October 25, 2013

Bucuzzo to stay put in Andover

Talks with Dracut break down

ANDOVER — Assistant Town Manager Steve Bucuzzo will not be the new town manager of Dracut after all, it was revealed this week.

The Dracut Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday night to discontinue negotiations with Bucuzzo due to a disagreement over wording in his contract.

“I will be remaining in Andover for the foreseeable future,” Bucuzzo said in an email to The Eagle-Tribune.

Town Manager Reginald ‘Buzz’ Stapczynski said that while Bucuzzo was chosen by the Dracut Board of Selectmen to be their next town manager nearly two months ago, he never gave his resignation notice to Andover, just in case contract talks broke down.

Which they did.

The Dracut Board of Selectmen named Bucuzzo as their next town manager on Aug. 27 in a 4-0 vote. He was to replace Dennis Piendak, town manager for the last 26 years, who is retiring Nov. 15.

However, negotiations dragged on for weeks. Bucuzzo, in a recent interview with The Eagle-Tribune, said part of the problem was that Dracut had never inked a formal agreement with Piendak. Instead, his employment was governed by the town charter, which stated, among other things, that the town manager would serve “without term.”

Most modern town manager contracts now carry very specific provisions about the length of the contract, the salaries involved, the duties, and other provisions that protect both the employee and the town.

Bucuzzo would not comment this week to The Eagle-Tribune about what transpired, and members of the Dracut Board of Selectmen said they couldn’t speak about it, either.

But in a statement Bucuzzo emailed Wednesday to the Lowell Sun, he said he was “very disappointed to receive the news last (Tuesday) night. Obviously I was hoping for a different outcome, but I must respect their decision. Both parties put forth sincere efforts to negotiate a mutually acceptable contract during several meetings over the past six weeks or so.”

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