It has been about 21 months since East Hampton last had a permanent town manager, but that's all coming to an end.
The town council announced on Tuesday night that Michael Maniscalco will be the next town manager starting July 9.
"Over the last three or four months, we've put a lot of hours in, a lot of late nights, long weekends, holidays, in pursuit of the ideal town manager for East Hampton," Council Chair Sue Weintraub said. "I want to thank everybody for working together. I think it went very well. I think our disagreements that we had along the way brought us to a better place and found a better solution for our community."
That solution is Maniscalco. A native of Trumbull, Manscalco has most recently served as the executive director of the Lincoln and Logan County Development Partnership (LLCDP) in Illinois. LLCDP is a nonprofit organization charged with leading economic development with several communities with a combined population of 30,000.
Prior to that, Maniscalco was the senior program manager for the Autism Program of Illinois and also led the National Leadership Grant Project for the Illinois State Museum to develop an innovative database and website for the White House. The project, called “Oral History of Illinois Agriculture,” won the Elizabeth B. Mason Award, which recognizes projects that set new standards and exhibit leadership in their field.
"I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with the citizens, council and town employees in East Hampton," Maniscalco said in an email on Tuesday night.
Maniscalco has a bachelor’s degree in history (2006) and a master’s degree in public administration (2008), both from the University of South Dakota.
"I think we're very fortunate to get the guy we have. He's light years ahead of anybody that we interviewed," council member George Pfaffenbach said. Everybody's very positive about what he's going to bring to the town. Very diverse and very smart. We are all equally impressed. We got lucky."
Weintraub described the hiring as very exciting, saying "He's going to be an incredible team leader for our staff and our community. So many things that we've been discussing over the last few years and more recently with this administration, this council, he's been involved with in some level."
Maniscalco signed the contract on Tuesday, which will earn him $115,000 annually. Terms were agreed to on pending a physical examination and relevant screening. The council voted 7-0 to enter into negotiations with Maniscalco on .
Weintraub had plenty of praise to pass around, including the community for its patience, consultant Lorraine Baltimore for her help in the screening process and administrative assistant Cathy Sirois for her efforts. She also thanked Jeff Jylkka for "providing some stability during this rough road that we've been through."
Jylkka, the town's finance director, is the fourth acting or interim town manager East Hampton has had since the resignation of Jeffrey O'Keefe in September 2010. Bob Drewry, John Weichsel and Anne McKinney were the others.
O'Keefe resigned during the controversy surrounding his attempted ouster of Police Chief Matt Reimondo and elimination of the police chief position altogether.
A press release (attached as pdf) made available by the council says Maniscalco and his wife, Sabohat, who currently reside in Lincoln, Ill., are looking forward to raising a family in town.
Residents who don't get to meet Maniscalco right away will get to see him at the Old Home Days parade on July 14, which he plans to march in.