Hampton Hires New Manager

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By Patrick Cronin

Hampton Union, Tuesday, January 9, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON -- The Hampton Board of Selectman unanimously voted Monday night to appoint Fred Welch to become the town's next town manager.

Welch, who has served as Seabrook's town manager for almost four years, is slated to start in mid-March, following the 60-day notice he must give to Seabrook.

"I'm looking forward to working with you all," said Welch, after signing a two-year contract with a $91,000 annual salary.

The only selectman not to vote on the appointment was Ben Moore, who abstained because he applied for the position and was one of the five finalists.

Before coming to Seabrook, Welch served as town manager in three other New Hampshire towns -- Pittsfield, Belmont and New London. He also spent 21 years working in municipal government in Massachusetts.

Welch said he decided to apply for the job after meeting with Seabrook Selectmen in August.

"I asked the board to start negotiations on renewing my contract ... but the board did not want to pursue that," Welch said.

Selectman Chairman Ginny Bridle-Russell said the board reviewed 50 applications and interviewed 11 candidates. "This was a long process and we took every applicant seriously," Selectman Bill Lally said. "From my perspective, Welch was far and away the best candidate."

Welch's contract stipulates that he must move to Hampton by Sept. 30.

Selectmen began the search for a new town manager in August after receiving the resignation of Barrington, who decided to move back to his home state of Texas.

The Hampton position will continue to be filled by town attorney Mark Gearreald on an interim basis until Welch officially comes aboard.

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