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Hanover closes in on next town manager

  • Hanover Town Manager Julia Griffin, middle, and Hanover Sustainability Director April Salas, left, visit the town's municipal water facility to show Democratic gubernatorial candidate Molly Kelly potential sites for a large scale solar installations Tuesday, July 31, 2018. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Valley News — James M. Patterson

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/3/2022 10:05:56 PM
Modified: 5/4/2022 8:30:42 AM

HANOVER — The town is expected to name a successor to outgoing Town Manager Julia Griffin later this month.

Selectboard member Bill Geraghty, who has led the search for Griffin’s replacement, said Monday that officials are negotiating with their top choice.

“We’ve made a job offer,” Geraghty said. “We’re in the process of finalizing the wording of the contract.”

Griffin, who has been in the job for 25 years, is set to retire at the end of June. The process to replace her began in November and has included conversations with community leaders, focus groups of residents and a townwide survey.

Other than referring to the pending hire as “he” and “him,” Geraghty and Griffin declined to offer any details.

Geraghty said the preferred candidate was one of two applicants who visited Hanover this spring for extensive interviews with the Selectboard as well as meetings with town government department directors and three residents.

Geraghty declined to name the three community members who met the applicants, but he described the trio as “people in the community who have been active in the town.”

Hanover conducted a nationwide search with the help of a consultant. By January, the job had drawn 21 applicants from 15 states. The town and the consultant narrowed that list to seven applicants who were interviewed in March by the Selectboard.

The Selectboard then narrowed the field to three finalists. Invitations were extended to all three, but only two chose to interview in person and came to town in early April, Geraghty said.

He said the candidate has accepted the position in principle, and details of the contract are being worked out.

Town officials plan to have an overlap between the end of Griffin’s tenure and the beginning of the next manager’s.

“I am looking forward to spending some time with my successor late in June so that I can introduce him to staff and neatly hand over lots of information and updates to ensure that he gets off on the well-briefed right foot,” Griffin said via email. “Between now and then, I am knee-deep in trying to get everything organized and ready for a thoughtful handover.”

Meanwhile, Griffin, who has been on the job since 1996 and earns $157,000, is busy preparing for next Tuesday’s Town Meeting.

“With plenty to do and the weeks winding down quickly, there is no rest for the weary right now,” she said.

Griffin’s husband, John Steidl, works for Dartmouth College, and Griffin said he also will retire soon. She said she wasn’t sure what her long-term plans were, but her immediate plan is to enjoy her garden this summer and sleep in a little.

She told the Valley News in October that she would keep a low profile on municipal matters after retirement.

Geraghty said the transition will be a significant one for the town.

“Julia’s been there for 25 years,” Geraghty said. “This is a major event for the town of Hanover. We’re going to miss her, but we’re looking forward to the new person.”

Darren Marcy can be reached at or 802-291-4992.

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