EAST GREENWICH — The Town Council interviewed two candidates in executive session Tuesday night who have applied to serve as interim town manager.
The two interviewees are well known locally: Grady Miller, a former town manager in Narragansett, and William DiLibero, a former town administrator in Charlestown and town manager in Hopkinton.
The interim manager will serve for the period between Town Manager William Sequino’s last day on July 5 and the hiring of his successor, which could take months.
Miller and DiLibero talked with reporters while waiting in a hallway at Town Hall for their interviews with council members. DiLibero, who lives in North Kingstown, joked that for several years he has told Sequino to call him first when he decided to leave the job.
Sequino has served as town manager for 25 years. He has been hired as the new executive director of the Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Agency. He begins his job July 8. Should a period go by without an interim town manager, Sequino has assured the Town Council that town department heads would keep town government on an even keel until a permanent successor is found.
Both DiLibero and Miller were forced out of their jobs by a majority of council members who took aim at them for relatively minor missteps, and were at the center of political controversies.
The Narragansett Town Council, at a special meeting on May 30, 2012 voted to part ways with Miller, who remained on paid leave until September while he used up the balance of his accrued sick leave, vacation and personal days. He also received seven months of severance payments.
Among the issues that led to his ouster was a payment of $3,000 to the Narrow River Preservation Association for river clean-up. Miller transferred budgeted funds from an unrelated account in a way that irked council members.
On April 19, 2012, DiLibero was forced out of his job as Charlestown’s town administrator. He had come under fire by three Town Council members, one of whom he had fired when she was a town employee. A local political advocacy group pushed for DiLibero’s ouster.
A majority of council members had disciplined DiLibero two months earlier for sending a notice by email to residents urging them to attend a hearing to support a sports lighting proposal at Ninigret Park, a former naval auxiliary airfield. Then, a month later, the council learned that DiLibero withheld knowledge of the National Park Service’s objections to proposed wind turbines at the park.
Both candidates spent about 30 minutes behind closed doors with the council.
Council President Michael B. Isaacs said afterward that they were the only two candidates, so far, who have expressed interest in the interim manager’s position. Both men told reporters they would likely apply for the full-time position.