Avon's assistant town manager was planning to leave his post Sept. 6 to
become town manager in Lenox, MA and had notified his immediate colleagues of
his estimated end date. But after contract negotiations for the job didn’t
pan out as desired, he withdrew his candidacy and decided to stay in Avon.
"I am truly sorry that things did not work out in Lenox," Bartha said in a statement he originally sent to The Berkshire Eagle, which he also provided to Patch. "I was excited about the opportunity and enjoyed meeting the staff and residents during my visits. I am disappointed, to be sure, but, in the end, could not accept the terms of an agreement that, to my mind, was inconsistent from what was informally understood to be acceptable."
Bartha has since informed town officials and staff in Avon that he plans to stay in his role as assistant town manager. He has worked in the Avon Town Manager's Office for three years. Bartha was first hired as assistant to the town manager and was promoted to assistant town manager a year and a half later.
The New Hartford resident said that he is grateful to go back to a job that he enjoys.
"I look forward to continuing on in my role as assistant town manager until the right opportunity presents itself to me and my family," Bartha said.
Bartha previously told Patch that he hopes to be a town manager some day.
That was the plan when he applied for the open town manager position in Lenox, MA. In August, the Lenox Board of Selectmen identified Bartha as the ideal candidate for the job.
Bartha said in a statement that he was asked to prepare a draft contract "behind the scenes" in advance of a public meeting on Aug. 21 "so that there would be no surprises." According to Bartha, this is a standard practice. He said he researched compensation packages typical of a town manager.
"The compensation package that was drafted was and is in line with a fair and standard compensation package for town managers," Bartha said.
Lenox town officials were expecting Bartha to sign a three-year contract as the contract negotiations neared a conclusion, The Berkshire Eagle reported.
Resources Inc., a third party
contractor, oversaw the recruiting process, according to the newspaper.
"During the back-and-forth process to develop the draft agreement, which included at least one board of selectmen member, the only item to elicit comment was the number of paternity leave days," said Bartha, who is going to be a father soon. "Given my understanding of the process, I assumed that all other terms and conditions were mutually agreeable. Therefore, I was quite stunned and disappointed to learn that the draft agreement was reduced in significant areas in executive session on August 21st."
Bartha said in a statement that he was asked to counter the "new agreement" that came out of the Aug. 21 Board of Selectmen meeting. Donald R. Jutton, of Municipal Resources, Inc., presented the revised contract request on his behalf to the selectmen at an Aug. 28 special meeting.
"The outcome of that meeting did not resolve the differences and, at that point, I felt compelled to withdraw from the process," Bartha said.
withdrew his candidacy for the Lenox job later that week.
The Lenox Board of Selectmen was scheduled to meet Wednesday morning to discuss how to proceed with their town manager search, The Berkshire Eagle reported.