By Aubry Bracco & Scott E. Kinney, Atlantic News Staff Writers
Atlantic News, Friday, January 12, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
HAMPTON -- The town has a new manager.
Selectmen announced Monday night during their weekly meeting that Fred Welch, Seabrook's current town manager, would take the reins of the town of Hampton beginning in March.
Welch signed a two-year contract with the town of Hampton that would net him $91,000 per year. A contractual stipulation also states that Welch must find residency within the town's borders by the end of September.
The town's agreement with Welch ends a lengthy search that included the review of some 50 applications and interviews with 11 candidates.
Prior to joining Seabrook 3-1/2 years ago, Welch served as a municipal agent for more than 21 years. He began his government service in his hometown of Wellesley, Mass. in July 1962. Welch was also the first town administrator in Ashland, as well as serving in New London, Belmont and Pittsfield.
Welch said at this point in his career he carefully measured application for the Hampton job.
"After you've been in the business as long as I have you become very finicky about where you apply to," said Welch.
Selectmen Chairman Ginny Bridle-Russell said Welch was the right candidate for the town's top job.
"I'm very excited," she said. "He's an innovative thinker. He goes outside the box to think of ways to bring in revenue."
Mark Gearreald, who has served as interim town manager following the departure of former Town Manager James Barrington in August, will continue to perform the duties of the office until Welch's arrival.
Welch had nothing but great praise for the town he will begin serving on March 12. "It (Hampton) has a very high reputation in the state of New Hampshire," said Welch. "It is a good town."