Whately town admin duties to be split in interim as officials seek new hire

Whately Town Administrator Brian Domina, pictured after starting the job in July 2016, will leave the town on March 4 to accept Hampden’s town administrator position. In a Feb. 22 meeting, the Selectboard opted to appoint longtime municipal servant Lynn Sibley and former Scituate Town Administrator and Conway resident Patricia Vinchesi as interim co-administrators until a new hire can be found.

Whately Town Administrator Brian Domina, pictured after starting the job in July 2016, will leave the town on March 4 to accept Hampden’s town administrator position. In a Feb. 22 meeting, the Selectboard opted to appoint longtime municipal servant Lynn Sibley and former Scituate Town Administrator and Conway resident Patricia Vinchesi as interim co-administrators until a new hire can be found. STAFF FILE PHOTO

By CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer

Published: 02-29-2024 1:08 PM

WHATELY — With its town administrator slated to leave on March 4, Whately began searching for an interim candidate. Unbeknownst to town officials, though, they would end up getting two.

In a Feb. 22 meeting, the Selectboard opted to appoint longtime municipal servant Lynn Sibley and former Scituate Town Administrator and Conway resident Patricia Vinchesi as interim co-administrators. Vinchesi has signaled her intention to serve in the position until the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

Current Town Administrator Brian Domina, who has served in the role since July 2016, will leave the town on March 4 to accept Hampden’s town administrator position.

“The deal is that [Vinchesi] and Lynn Sibley are going to split the job,” Baron said, adding “we want to try and get everything in place” before Domina leaves.

“They’ve known each other a long time and seem to work well together,” Baron added. Domina said he expects “it will be a smooth transition to Lynn and Patricia, for sure.”

Residents will certainly be familiar with Sibley, as she entered a semi-retirement in early 2023 after serving the town in numerous capacities for decades, including as a firefighter/EMT, Selectboard secretary, town clerk, treasurer/collector and a 10-year stint as administrator.

In all, Sibley has worked more than 46 years in Whately and helped lead the push to renovate the former youth center on Christian Lane into the Whately Police Station, as well as other initiatives. She continues her service in a part-time role as assistant treasurer/collector.

Vinchesi, on the other hand, may be a new face to newer residents in town.

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Like Sibley, the Conway resident has been a longtime public servant, with her career starting in 1983 as a legislative aide to then-U.S. Rep. Ed Markey. Following three years there, she spent time as an administrative assistant before becoming Longmeadow’s town administrator in 1988. After that, she spent time as a part-time administrator in Whately from 1995 to 1998, served as South Hadley’s town administrator and then joined Scituate in 2009 before stepping down in 2017, among numerous other positions around the state.

In regard to the permanent town administrator search, the screening committee — comprised of Baron, Treasurer/Collector Amy Schrader and Police Chief James Sevigne Jr. — will accept resumes through April 1, at which point they will narrow it down to finalists, who will then be interviewed by the Selectboard.

“Seven years here and Brian has done a great job for the town and we thank him for his service,” Baron said at what was Domina’s last Selectboard meeting. “Good luck in the future.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com.