No. Branford government starts period of transition

Rachael Scarborough King; Register Staff
December 26, 2007

NORTH BRANFORD – Town Manager Karl Kilduff is wrapping up his final weeks on the job and preparing the town government for a transition period that could last several months.

Kilduff announced in November that he had accepted a job in Darien as the town administrator. His last day in North Branford will be Jan. 4.

The Town Council recently appointed Michael Paulhus, the former first selectman of Windham, as the interim town manager. Kilduff said that a new, long-term town manager may not be in place until April or May.

The deadline to apply for the position is Thursday, and the town has already received about a dozen applications. The Town Council could begin conducting interviews in the early part of the year.

Kilduff said he has already delegated some of the usual town manager responsibilities to town department heads. For example, Town Engineer Kurt Weiss will oversee work on a sewer agreement with Branford, North Haven and New Haven.

“The goal is that everything that’s in process does not lose time and can continue to move forward,” Kilduff said. He added that Paulhus has not applied for the permanent position and has indicated that he does not plan to do so.

Paulhus’ pay will be based on a $90,000 a year salary, although he will probably only work for a few months, Kilduff said. The town has advertised the full-time town manager position for a salary range of $100,000 to $130,000 a year.

One of the interim town manager’s main responsibilities will be to lead the budget process, which begins in January. He will also work on the beginning of collective bargaining with the town’s four unions, Kilduff said.

“Some of the other items in town … have been wrapped up or are in such a process that it only requires a slight guidance coming out of the interim manager,” he said, citing the Smith Library construction project as one in which the town manager will not play as active a role.

For the short term, Kilduff will continue to work with the town as a consultant when needed. He has said in the past that he will also remain a North Branford resident.

“The council has agreed to keep me involved on a consultancy basis to provide assistance as appropriate and as necessary,” he said, “so that things continue to make progress and the institutional memory of what I’ve collected since I’ve been here is not necessarily lost.”

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