Selectmen Closer to Picking Town Accountant

The search could be over this month.

After more than a year of searching, the Board of Selectmen may be closer than ever to picking a new town accountant to replace Rodney Smith, who retired in November after more than 33 years on the job.

The best candidate, according to the board? Acting Town Accountant Theodora Moccia.

Selectmen had recently interviewed two external candidates -- Rockingham, N.H., County Attorney Charles Nickerson and Ipswich Town Accountant Karen Repucci -- but opted to start the search over, saying neither was right for the Andover position.

Moccia, who previously served as assistant town accountant for Andover, has been acting town accountant since Smith left in November. When selectmen were discussing the possibility of opening the search to the general public or giving the job to an internal candidate at their Monday night meeting, they seemed settled on getting Moccia into the town accountant role permanently.

"I believe we do have an outstanding candidate in this position," Selectman Mary Lyman said. "And we have had the benefit of having her fill in, and I'd like to see if we can bring some sort of closure, we've had it up for a year." 

Human Resources Director Candace Hall said she will discuss with Moccia the concerns Moccia has about the position, including whether or not she can keep her existing town employee benefits.

Selectmen have set the salary at $84+. At the end of his career, Smith was making more than $100,000.

A few months ago, there was conflict on the board about how to word the job description, and when the two finalists were rejected, that issue came up again.

"She's very comfortable with the position," Hall said. "She of course would like to see this as an advancement, and she would like to not lose any of the traditional benefits she has as a town employee."

Lyman suggested she and Selectman Dan Kowalski meet with Moccia and Hall and try to solve any issues by the end of this month.


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