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Finalist Chosen In Simsbury's Search For Its First Ever Town Manager

A finalist has been chosen after a monthslong search to find Simsbury’s first-ever town manager.

The board of selectmen unanimously voted Thursday to make a conditional offer of employment to Maria E. Capriola, interim town manager in Mansfield.

Capriola’s hiring is contingent upon final approval of the newly-elected board of selectmen, headed by Eric Wellman, which will meet for the first time Dec. 4. The new board will retain the authority to reject the current board's recommendations and start from scratch.

If approved by the incoming board, Capriola will make an annual salary of $152,500, with an increase of $2,500 after one year if she meets certain goals, said Director of Administrative Services Thomas Cooke.

“We are extremely pleased that Maria has agreed to serve as town manager,” said Democratic Selectman Chris Kelly, chair of the board’s personnel subcommittee, in an emailed statement. “Her many years in municipal government, her education and her firsthand experience in Mansfield with the challenges facing Connecticut’s municipalities make her the ideal candidate for Simsbury’s town manager position.”

Capriola holds a master’s degree in public administration from UConn. With 15 years of municipal government experience, she has previously worked for the city of Savannah, Georgia, in its budget department, as well as the city of Newburyport, Mass. Capriola has experience in both managing and developing operating budgets, as well as participating in labor negotiations.

Voters last November approved the change in the town's form of government from a first selectman-board of selectmen to a town manager-council, with the town manager becoming chief executive officer of the town. Under this form, the town manager is appointed by and reports directly to the board of selectmen.

The town hired executive search firm Municipal Resources Inc., in May and subsequently conducted a nationwide search for town manager candidates. The process included interviews and surveys of residents and staff to determine the responsibilities and qualifications necessary for the job.

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