By Joe Capozzi
The Town Council will hold a special meeting Jan. 6 to review options for finding a new town manager to replace Robert Kellogg, who plans to resign at the end of March.
A representative with the International City/County Management Association will attend the meeting to offer suggestions, which may include finding an interim town manager until a full-time manager is hired.
The town could also consider hiring a recruiting firm, which Ocean Ridge has done in its search for a manager. A recruiting firm could cost $25,000 to $35,000, said Town Attorney Glen Torcivia, whose firm also provides town attorney services for Ocean Ridge.
Kellogg announced his plans to resign after councilman Ray McMillan unsuccessfully tried to fire him at the council’s Nov. 15 meeting. McMillan’s motion to terminate Kellogg failed when no other council members supported it.
At the Dec. 22 council meeting, Mayor Bonnie Fischer thanked Kellogg “for everything he does. I don’t think he’ll be going anywhere for a while because it’s not an easy process to find a new town manager. It takes time. We’ve been through it three or four times.’’
Fischer added, “It’s very bittersweet, the whole thing. Thank you, Bob, for everything.’’
“It’s not over yet,’’ replied council member Robert Gottlieb, who did not attend the Nov. 15 meeting when McMillan tried to fire Kellogg.
Gottlieb, looking ahead to 2023, offered praise for Kellogg.
“It’s going to be a great new year for all of us, I hope. We’re lucky to be here and help others,’’ he said. “That’s what this council is all about. It’s helping this town to be better, and Bob, you’ve been and are an important part of it and I appreciate you greatly.’’
New Town Hall
With no discussion, the council tabled consideration of a $15,000 contract with Slattery & Associates to design a new Town Hall, a project that has been debated for more than five years.
The firm was ranked first among three that interviewed with the council in November, but town officials want to do more research to make sure the firm can design a facility that will be built with structural insulated panels.
“They have experience. We want to make sure if we hire them they are capable of providing the service that we want,’’ Kellogg said after the meeting.
At the end of the meeting, Fischer said she hoped con-struction would start in 2023.
Fischer and Kellogg are working with Torcivia to overcome what the mayor called “a few glitches” and “to figure out what’s best so we can move forward using SIPs. That’s our focus to get that done. Once that gets started and we get moving, it should take off a lot quicker than regular traditional building,’’ she said.
In other business:
-- The council agreed to spend $2,300 for new fuel lines to the aging generator at the lift station outside Town Hall. In the next year the council will consider a recommendation by a maintenance company to replace the generator.
A new generator could cost $200,000 to $250,000, some of which could come from grant money, Kellogg said.
“This is not something we can gamble with,’’ Vice Mayor Bill LeRoy said. “We can’t take a chance on not having it.’’
-- Kellogg told the council that the Dune Deck condominium received a state permit in early December to make repairs to an eroding sea wall. But he said he didn’t think the town had issued a formal permit yet for the work. He said the condo, which applied for the state permit in June, is expected in January to seek relief from fines a special magistrate imposed in May.