EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 8, 2014

Gaydos resigns as Pelham administrator

By John Toole
jtoole@eagletribune.com

---- — PELHAM — Tom Gaydos is out as town administrator for Pelham after 12 years.

Selectmen, convening for a special meeting last night at Town Hall, announced his resignation.

“After many years of service to the town of Pelham, Tom Gaydos has decided to resign his employment effective Feb. 11, 2014,” a statement issued by the board read. “The Board of Selectmen thank him for his years of service.”

The announcement ends weeks of speculation about Gaydos’s future with the town.

Selectmen put him on administrative leave Jan. 9, characterizing the matter as a personnel issue, but not disclosing a specific reason.

They made clear during Gaydos’s absence that there were no criminal allegations against him.

A review of video and minutes from selectmen’s meetings through the last three months of last year revealed no blowup between the board and Gaydos.

To the contrary, their public discussions showed Gaydos working on issues that suggest selectmen anticipated he would be continuing as town administrator.

Gaydos, 56, had served as town administrator since 2002.

He has made no public statements since being placed on leave. A call to an online phone listing for Gaydos was not answered.

No details were released regarding any financial settlement with Gaydos, whose contract with the town was due to expire this month. His annual pay was about $100,000.

Police Chief Joseph Roark is serving as interim administrator.

“He’s doing an excellent job,” Selectmen’s Chairman Ed Gleason said.

But Roark is not interested at this time in the permanent position, according to Gleason.

Gleason put no time frame on the search for a successor.

“We expect to try to get somebody in place as soon as possible,” Gleason said.

He told selectmen during the meeting they should try to find a successor within 90 days.

But Selectman Doug Viger said that may be aggressive.

“We should set that as our goal,” Gleason said

Selectmen are likely to conduct the search on their own, without help from a consultant.

Gleason said in the past they have vetted candidates for top administrative positions in the town on their own.

He acknowledged there is no urgency, given Roark is in place, the budget is wrapped up and bound for Town Meeting, and selectmen will not be working on a new budget until later in the year.

He said doesn’t anticipate there will be any internal candidates.

Gleason, citing advice from the town’s attorney, said he would not comment about Gaydos beyond the board’s formal statement.

Gaydos served as town administrator through a period in which the town developed a new fire station, senior center, recycling center and launched development of twin roundabouts in the town center.

But selectmen always have emphasized those projects resulted from the collaboration of many officials in town government.

There has been little comment from residents, either praise or criticism of Gaydos, on the town’s electronic message board, since selectmen announced they had placed him on leave.