The structure of Wilmington’s government is officially clear now with the approval of Jeff Hull’s contract at Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting and the appointment of his replacement as Assistant Town Manager.
Following a unanimous public vote by selectmen with Lou Cimaglia abstaining because he is a town employee, Hull was officially hired for a starting salary of $133,200 and 2.5 percent increases in upcoming years of the contract.
Hull also waived an early retirement incentive and agreed not to require longevity payments.
“The board is pleased to be getting what we believe is a hometown discount on what we’ve come to expect and enjoy over the last 20-plus years,” said Board of Selectmen chairman Mike Newhouse.
Hull said that while he has big shoes to fill in replacing Michael Caira, he is ready for the challenge.
“It’s game time and it’s really exciting for me,” said Hull. “Wilmington is a special place, and in the end it is a good place for me.”
Hull found his own replacement in naming Kendra Amaral as Assistant Town Manager beginning on October 9. The Stoneham resident was previously the Deputy Director for the Department of Planning and Development in Lowell, a top position in the city.
Caira pointed out during Monday’s meeting that Amaral will become the first female to serve as Assistant Town Manager or Town Manager in Wilmington history.
“Ms. Amaral’s passion for ‘good government,’ her tireless work ethic and her depth and breadth of experience in the non-profit and municipal government sectors will be a significant addition to the town’s management team,” said Hull in a letter to selectmen.
A total of 63 applicants were considered for the Assistant Town Manager position before the selection committee narrowed that total down to five.
Hull then conducted follow up interviews with the final candidates and selected Amaral as his replacement.
“We were very fortunate,” said Caira. “Every one of the five finalists could have been the Assistant Town Manager. We’ve heard from other towns who have not had the strongest pools.”
And as far as his own replacement goes, Caira said the town is in good shape when Hull takes over as Town Manager next week.
“The town will be in extraordinary hands in Jeff Hull. For the Board of Selectmen, it was their finest decision,” said Caira, before adding to the conversation lightheartedly. “When I was hired, the vote was 3-2. I can tell Jeff was pretty good because there was a unanimous vote and you deserve it after 22 years of outstanding service to this town. No one thinks more of you than I do.”