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Select Board unanimously approves new CFO; graduation car parade OK’d

by | Feb 21, 2024 | Featured: News, News

The Select Board at its meeting Tuesday voted 4-0 to approve the hiring of Kyla LaPierre as the town’s new chief financial officer.

LaPierre, a Milford resident, worked at State Street corporation for 29 years, ascending to the position of executive vice president. She is filling the position formerly held by Tim O’Leary, who has been consulting with the town..

Town Manager Norman Khumalo noted that while O’Leary’s are “big shoes to fill,” LaPierre’s leadership experience and financial acumen will help her succeed in the role. The position involves executing the town’s financial planning and analysis practices, and ensuring accuracy and efficiency.

He added that LaPierre’s references called her “a strategic thinker” and “a subject matter expert in finance.” She also “has developed teams globally” and “has defined consensus building.”

LaPierre, who appeared via Zoom, said she left State Street in June and was “looking for a new adventure.” She applied for the position because it was close to home.

In her most recent role at State Street, LaPierre was sent to California, where she oversaw the California state teachers retirement and public employees retirement funds. She moved to California for six months to learn the system and then traveled from Boston to Sacramento every other week over a period of three years.

“Are you sure you’re not going to be bored in a little town like Hopkinton with that background that you’ve got?” asked Select Board member Mary Jo LaFreniere.

“After 30 years of commuting into Boston working 16-hour days, it was my decision to leave the bank,” explained LaPierre, noting that she sought “a better quality of life, more engagement and something fulfilling.”

Khumalo added that while Hopkinton may be a small town, “we are now a $5 billion enterprise.”

Human Resources generalist Kristin Merrill said there were 18 applicants for the CFO position, eight of whom were interviewed by a hiring committee.

Chair Muriel Kramer said she looked forward to LaPierre increasing community engagement in the financial process and in strengthening the department.

Search processes initiated for deputy police chief, town manager

The board agreed to select PSC as its consultant in the hiring process for a new deputy police chief, citing the cost and its ability to complete the process within an estimated 11 weeks.

The position has been vacant since John “Jay” Porter was placed on administrative leave in August 2022 pending the results of an investigation into his conduct. In May 2023, Porter pleaded not guilty to three counts of child rape that were alleged to have occurred during his stint as the school resource officer nearly two decades before.

Khumalo told the committee that three consulting companies were contacted to assist the town in the search for a deputy police chief. The town previously has worked with all three companies — MRI, PSC and Community Paradigm.

Khumalo noted that MRI had the cheapest bid at $9,700, but it would not be able to complete the process until late July. The other two companies would be able to complete the hiring process within 12 weeks. PFC would charge $9,800, while Community Paradigm would cost $14,000. The process includes the recruitment and screening of candidates and testing at the assessment center.

Community Paradigm was the firm that worked with the town in the selection of Fire Chief Gary Daugherty, Kramer said. Her preference was for PFC because of the shorter timeline, previous work with the town and cost. The other board members agreed, noting that it is important to fill this vacancy.

Regarding the town manager search process, the board discussed hiring a consultant in a similar fashion. An update on firms and timelines is expected in two weeks.

Discussions on the contract for the interim town manager position, which will be filled by Assistant Town Manager Elaine Lazarus, will begin “as early as tomorrow,” according to Khumalo, who will be leaving the position after 15 years. His transition date has not yet been finalized.

Graduation car parade approved

The Select Board approved 4-0 a request raised at the previous meeting to approve a car parade to celebrate the town’s graduating high school seniors.

Conditions were suggested by the Hopkinton Police Department that a police car lead the procession to control speed and that five detail police officers line the route to maintain safety, said Khumalo.

Khumalo also advised that “all students, parents, family members [be] educated on the map route and safety protocols listed in the parade route document.” One condition noted was that each graduating senior would be allowed to have one vehicle participate and that the graduate would not be driving.

HPD requested a meeting with the parade committee four weeks before the event to finalize the details.

The car parade originated in 2020 because the pandemic prohibited traditional graduation ceremonies from being held that spring. Last year, a divided Select Board voted to allow the event with the condition that it be the final one, primarily due to concerns about disruption to traffic and emergency access. Also, some behavioral issues with graduates were mentioned at the previous meeting.

Parent Sherri Galego agreed with the terms, thanking the Select Board on behalf of the graduating class for its approval.

Select Board member Irfan Nasrullah noted that the presentation given at the last meeting by Galego’s daughter, Christina, “really, really swayed my opinion.”

Board discusses proposed Town Meeting article

The board reviewed a proposed article for the May 6 Annual Town Meeting that would allow the town to sell two small parcels it owns located at Duffield Road and Beach Street. The Duffield Road parcel consists of approximately 3,920 square feet of land, while the Beach Street parcel has approximately 2,178 square feet.

Lazarus said the article was prompted by an abutter’s interest in expanding their Duffield Road parcel. The conditions of the parcels were not known.

1 Comment

  1. John

    O’Leary is not volunteering, he is being paid very well as a consultant, not a volunteer.

    Reply

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