Kevin Paicos to return as interim Northfield admininstrator

NORTHFIELD — Former interim Town Administrator Kevin Paicos will return for another round in Northfield.

Paicos, who was with Northfield for two months last fall, will step back into the position July 1. The Selectboard will continue to search for a permanent administrator and hopes to hire one by September.

He left the part-time position to become the full-time administrator for Jamestown, R.I., but left in February.

Town officials told the Jamestown Press that Paicos left because he decided to move back to Massachusetts, breaking the position’s residency requirement. However, the newspaper later reported that Paicos, through attorney Michael Levinson, accused the town of breach of contract and demanded $50,000 in addition to the $25,000 severance he’d already been paid.

Before working in Northfield last fall, Paicos was the town manager of Foxborough. He announced last June that he would not seek renewal of his three-year contract with Foxborough, and planned to retire. The Board of Selectmen voted in August to buy Paicos out of the remainder of his contract, which would have expired this month, according to The Boston Globe.

The Globe called the board’s relationship with Paicos “shaky,” and said it was worsened when the National Guard member failed to return to Foxborough directly after a two-week military leave last spring.

When he returns to Northfield, Paicos will replace Interim Town Administrator Robert Markel, a former mayor of Springfield. Markel was brought on board after Paicos left, and his contract has been extended three times as the Selectboard continues to look for a full-time administrator.

Markel and Paicos each told the town they were not interested in a permanent, full-time position. Paicos explained that, since he will be collecting Massachusetts retirement benefits, anything he earns beyond a certain threshold would reduce what he’s able to collect in retirement pay.

Northfield has been without a full-time town administrator since Thomas Hutcheson left to become the administrator of Conway. Northfield has hired the Collins Institute of the University of Massachusetts to compile a list of qualified candidates for the position.

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