The Sun (Lowell)

Ansaldi severance totals $232K

- By Cameron Morsberger cmorsberge­

The Select Board shared budgetary details on former Town Administra­tor Anthony Ansaldi’s departure at their meeting Monday night.

Chair Gary Wilson said the board entered into an employment settlement agreement with Ansaldi back on March 27, and Ansaldi’s deferred compensati­on — with insurance payments — totals $232,371.08.

“Per Mr. Ansaldi’s employment contract, Mr. Ansaldi was paid out approximat­ely eight months from March 24 through the duration of his contract term on Nov. 30, 2023 of salary, deferred compensati­on and unpaid vacation,” Wilson read from a statement. “Per the terms of Mr. Ansaldi’s employment contract and executed settlement agreement, Mr. Ansaldi is additional­ly scheduled to be paid on the first payroll period of July 1, 2023, a lump sum payment equivalent to six months of regular compensati­on.”

This comes after a resident inquired about Ansaldi’s severance during the spring Town Meeting and where that money is coming from. At the time, Town Moderator Timothy Goddard said the matter was “subject to executive session.”

Because the severance cuts through two fiscal periods, it becomes a complicate­d one to explain, Wilson said, especially on the spot.

“When these questions come up on Town Meeting floor, it’s very difficult for us to look through the book and say ‘where are all of these budget items coming from?’” Wilson said. “We appreciate your patience, and I wish we had a different forum … to be able to handle these types of questions. Town Meeting floor, we don’t always have the quick answer, especially when we have things like this that cross over fiscal years.”

Before he left Littleton, Ansaldi was working under a three-year contract that was to expire in November. He served as town administra­tor for less than two and a half years in his second stint in the top role. At the time, Select Board member and then-chair Matthew Nordhaus said Ansaldi and the board “jointly negotiated on the separation agreement.”

His Assistant Town Administra­tor Ryan Ferrara is now working as the interim town administra­tor.

The town will finance the settlement through the town administra­tor wages budget, which was $395,047 in fiscal 2023 and a recommende­d $414,877 for 2024, according to the spring Town Meeting warrant.

If there’s a deficit in that wages budget this fiscal year or next, Wilson said the gap “will be covered by the fiscal year and surpluses in the other town expenses or wages line items, with the approval of the Finance Committee and Select Board.” He added that those funds exist for that specific purpose.

For Ansaldi, his employment settlement agreement “went beyond that amount of money,” Wilson said. Should there be deficits in either fiscal year budgets, Wilson said a transfer of the appropriat­e sum from the Finance Committee’s reserve fund will be voted on.

Wilson encouraged residents to contact him with any additional questions about Ansaldi’s or any other employees’ separation contract.

At the top of the meeting, Ferrara noted that the

Town Administra­tor Search Committee is seeking a resident to offer input and insight on selecting Ansaldi’s replacemen­t. The committee will consist of four other appointed members from the Select Board, School Committee, Personnel Advisory Committee and Finance Committee.

“One of the parties that we need to bring in is a citizen-at-large,” Ferrara said. “I believe the citizen-atlarge should ideally have some form of experience in municipal government or government in general.”

Applicatio­ns for that position will be accepted until noon May 31, and interviews will take place at the Select Board’s June 5 meeting in the Sturtz Room at the Reuben Hoar Library.

The board will also soon hold weekly office hours on Fridays from 1-3 p.m., Nordhaus announced, where at least one member will be available to talk and answer residents’ questions and concerns.

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