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Milford Selectmen Choose Town Administrator

Attorney Richard Villani has been selected as the Milford town administrator.

Richard Villani will become the new town administrator for Milford.

Selectmen voted 3-0 to appoint Villani as the town administrator, with a contract to be negotiated over the next several days. 

He  who is retiring.

Villani, 55, a Milford resident, is an attorney with a private practice in town. He was among five individuals interviewed for the position.

The motion to appoint him as town administrator was made by Selectman Dino DeBartolomeis, who said he appreciated the strengths of all of the candidates, but felt Villani was the best choice.

"He has the necessary skills," DeBartolomeis said.

Brian Murray, the current chairman, seconded the motion, and also spoke to his qualifiations. "I also feel comfortable with the work that Mr. Villani can do in that position."

Before the discussion and vote on Villani, Murray had advocated for Barbara Auger, the town treasurer of 16 years. "One candidate would be excellent in that position. A great employee, very dedicated, knows the budget process very well. I think she would be very able to handle that position."

But no other member made a motion to select her, and DeBartolomeis was then recognized, and spoke for Villani.

The other finalists were: Noel Bon Tempo, a government teacher at Milford High School, and an attorney; William Kingkade Jr., a manager with the MBTA, and John D'Agostino, the town manager of Abington, a town on the South Shore.

Villani has been a trustee of the Geriatric Authority since 1993. Prior to opening his business, he was a partner at Consigli, Brucato and Villani, and an associate attorney before that. From 1988 to 2003 he was an instructor at Newbury College in Brookline.

He obtained his law degree at Suffolk University in Boston, and his bachelor of arts degree at Worcester State College (now University.)

Villani was interviewed by the three selectmen on Feb. 12. The broadcast is now available on the Milford TV YouTube channel.

In his interview, Villani emphasized his analytical and communications skills, and knowledge of the town. "I see this as an exciting opportunity to serve the town I was born and raised in," he said. Villani told selectmen he has reviewed town budgets and met with several department heads since applying for the position. "When you have your own business, you are accountable," he said. "You are responsible. I feel I will bring those traits to the position, should I be selected."

Last month, prior to the interviews of all finalists, DeBartolomeis had publicly disclosed that he and Villani are second cousins. He said the relationship was not one that required him to abstain from discussion or a vote, but said he wanted to disclose it publicly "so there is not perception of a conflict."

In his interview, Villani was asked how he would communicate with the Board of Selectmen. He described his communications style as "open, honest, direct. If you need information from me, I want to know. [The] Chairman will set the tone, and I respect that. [But] I feel if I get information, all of you get it at the same time."

He also said he wanted to know if the board felt he was doing something wrong. "I would like to have a dialogue where we can talk with each other. If you think I'm going down the wrong road, I need to know about that immediately. I'd like to make your jobs easier. ... My personal opinions don't have merit. You don't need to know them. You need information. You need data. You need to know what's going on in this town."

Negotiations will determine what Villani is paid, and when he begins. The Board had set the salary range when advertising the position as between $90,000 and $125,000.

Michael Soares February 26, 2013 at 01:16 AM
Congradulations Mr. Villani.
Kathy MacMannis February 26, 2013 at 01:31 AM
Rick we are both so excited for you! Congrats! Kathy & Russ MacMannis
Tippy Doodle February 26, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Excellent choice! Congratulations Rick!
Ernie's Puppet February 26, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Is it true that Rick is Dino's cousin, and if so how is that legal? I have no problem with Rick getting the job, just want to make sure nepotism isn't on full display.
Mary MacDonald (Editor) February 26, 2013 at 01:33 PM
This is included in the story: Last month, prior to the interviews of all finalists, DeBartolomeis had publicly disclosed that he and Villani are second cousins. He said the relationship was not one that required him to abstain from discussion or a vote, but said he wanted to disclose it publicly "so there is not perception of a conflict."
bag job February 26, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Can someone check to see if this vote clocked in the fastest time? Ive never seen Dino move and talk so fast. Must be extra motivation when you appoint family.
aycaramba February 27, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Is this normal???? Anywhere? To vote for a family member to be appointed to a high-paying civic job??? I think it's pretty embarrassing. I think this should be explained to us, the people of Milford, better than it has been so far. AWKWARD!!! I don't like the look of this, and I think it deserves a LOT more attention.
UglyHat February 27, 2013 at 01:46 PM
This is standard operating procedure in MA politics. To be fair though, it happens in the private sector pretty often too.
Mary MacDonald (Editor) February 27, 2013 at 03:48 PM
I'll do a follow....
Ray Fellows February 28, 2013 at 02:14 AM
Stop. Dino has served this community for a long time and I have never heard anyone question his character or commitment to the town. They had several extremely qualified Milford candidates. Yes I have seen nepotism in mIlford politics but no one can say that Rich is not a very qualified and competent selection, regardless if he is related to Dino. Dino also publicly disclosed the relationship prior to the selection process. I can't see where anyone can criticize this decision, even if you liked another candidate better.
aycaramba February 28, 2013 at 05:01 AM
I don't see how "disclosing" that you are voting to give a family member an important, high-paying job, somehow makes it all right. This is not an argument against Mr. Villani. It is a very serious critique of the WAY in which he got his job. The ONLY decent thing to do, it seems to me, would have been for Mr. DeBartolomeis to disclose and then to RECUSE himself from the vote. This reflects on him, not on the successful candidate, NOR at all on the unsuccessful candidates. But how on earth can we presume this was a fair vote, given the shameless way it was handled? And I'm sorry, just because someone has been in office a long time does not mean that person is above questions concerning his character or commitment. Quite the reverse. I really do find this pretty blatant and shocking and, frankly, unacceptable.
aycaramba March 18, 2013 at 08:04 PM
Was there ever a follow up? Mary? Is it just business as usual??? This looks bad. I am not overly political, but I will be very active during the next round up for selectmen...
Mary MacDonald (Editor) March 18, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Yes, I asked the state Ethics Commission about the rules: http://patch.com/A-2xND
aycaramba March 18, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Thanks Mary. The difference between integrity, and what the law allows, seems pretty interesting to me. Like I said, I'm going to be very active in Milford's next Selectmen election--I'm really tired of the old saws...

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