Town administers a search in Nahant

NAHANT – Five months after Town Administrator Andrew Bisignani abruptly resigned on the heels of a district attorney?s investigation into the awarding of contracts and spending, a search committee is moving forward with a search for his replacement and requesting input from residents.The Town Administrator Search Committee will hold a public hearing at Town Hall Wednesday at 7 p.m., giving interested citizens the opportunity to express the qualities they would like to see in the next administrator.The position has been advertised and is open through Dec. 31, according to Robert “Skip” Frary, chairman of the search committee. Interviews will be conducted in January and February, and the search committee hopes to forward the names of three finalists to selectmen by March 1, Frary said.?We are seeking input on what people in the town would like to see in the town administrator,” said Frary, a former selectman. “We are attempting to define the personal and professional attributes needed.”Former Town Administrator Mark Cullinan has been serving as interim administrator.The salary range listed in the job posting is $86,700 to $104,900. Responsibilities include fiscal management, labor relations, appointments, capital planning, collective bargaining, construction and procurement.Bisignani resigned the post effective July 1 after it was learned that Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett had launched an investigation into the awarding of public contracts and spending practices. State police raided Town Hall on June 13, seizing computers, documents and a list of town vendors. They also searched Bisignani?s Nahant home.Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for the district attorney, said Friday the investigation is ongoing.Bisignani was hired for the Nahant position in December 2011 after serving as Saugus town manager for nine years. Saugus selectmen failed to reappoint him and hired a Wakefield accounting firm to conduct an audit into his management and spending practices the last two years of his tenure.The Powers & Sullivan audit revealed what the company termed “significant violations” of law, including approximately $2 million in questionable purchases of equipment and contracts. The district attorney also looked into the Saugus situation, but no charges have been filed to this point.Because he was receiving a pension from Saugus, Bisignani accepted a part-time salary from Nahant – $54,000 annually – but agreed to work full-time. In February, when selectmen extended his contract until 2017, he was quoted as saying, “I?m energized and glad to give something back to the community.”

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