Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Kensington hires town manager

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Former Gaithersburg city manager Sanford Daily will serve as the interim Kensington town manager.

The Kensington Town Council voted Monday to hire Daily, who served as Gaithersburg city manager for 28 years before leaving in the mid-1990s, for a two-year period at $80,000 annually. During that time, he will lay the groundwork for future town managers. Daily began in his position Tuesday.

Mayor Peter Fosselman, a former Gaithersburg city planner who worked under Daily, said Daily was the best option for the town.

‘‘He’s considered a guru by the International Town Manager Association,” Fosselman said. ‘‘I find it a blessing that we’re getting this person. I’ve called him out of retirement for this, I’ve begged and pleaded and we’re very fortunate to have him.”

Daily will handle the day to day operations of the 1,900-resident town like managing staff, street repairs, trash collection and other duties now performed by the mayor.

Daily was not available for comment before The Gazette’s deadline Tuesday afternoon.

After the town’s Director of Public Works Mike Wojton resigned in October, the Town Council decided to look into the feasibility of hiring a town manager rather than simply filling the vacancy.

Kensington, according to the council, is the only town in Montgomery County without a town administrator or manager to oversee its day-to-day operations.

The council maintains that not every mayor will have a flexible schedule like Fosselman, who co-owns two businesses in town, and former mayor Lynn Raufaste, who was retired.

The town attorney is making a proposed change to the town charter that would permanently alter the way the power is structured in town. Under the proposed changes, the town manager could only be dismissed by the mayor and council, report directly to the mayor and will be in charge of town staff members.