Select Board addresses town administrator’s resignation

May 1, 2024

The Select Board is still considering its options for the town administrator search.

At the Monday, April 29 Select Board Meeting, the Town Administrator Shawn MacInnes’ resignation was addressed for the first time by the town. 

In a Tuesday, April 16 email to town employees obtained through a public records request, MacInnes announced his resignation stating, “I’ve enjoyed my time in Dartmouth, and it has been a pleasure to [work] with all of you. Your dedication to the Town is admirable, and because of that the Town is in an excellent position for the future.”

MacInnes will leave Dartmouth to become CEO and president of the Columbia Association, a non-profit community service corporation that governs Columbia, Maryland, which is a “planned community” created by developer John Rouse. Opening in 1967, it consists of 10 self-contained villages and is a census-designated place.

Select Board Chair Shawn McDonald said the board needs to make a number of decisions, including whether they go forward with an interim position and if so, they would also need to decide whether to hire in-house.

A job description for the position has been drafted and will be reviewed by the board. The previous job description had been for an executive administrator position — changes were made to make the description more accurate to what the job entails today, according to McDonald.

McDonald said while no decisions were made at the meeting, they do not want to drag their feet during this process.

“At this point in time, personally, I feel comfortable with an interim,” McDonald said. “Looking at the job market that's out there — I can tell you this right now — it's not really a good market for town administrators out there. There's a lot of people jumping from town to town, but there's not a lot of new administrators.”

Select Board member David Tatelbaum said while he will have more to say to MacInnes when his last day comes, “The work he’s done for us in six years has been, in my mind, remarkable. He’s not a perfect man, but nor are any of us.”

He congratulated MacInnes on his new position.

McDonald said, “It is clear Mr. MacInnes has left his mark on the town.” 

“There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it,” he added. “All you have to do is look at our website and some of the things that are done technologically — clearly it’s got Mr. MacInnes’ fingerprints all over it and we thank him for that, for bringing this little town into the 21st century — actually the 22nd century.”