Wenham Select Board Puts Town Administrator On Paid Administrative Leave

Wednesday December 22, 2021

WENHAM – Wenham’s Town Administrator, Ryan Ferrara, has been placed on paid administrative leave.

No further information about the move by the Wenham Select Board was forthcoming, as Chair Catherine Harrison made the announcement at the beginning of the Tuesday, Dec. 14 Select Board meeting.

“Last evening (Dec. 13), the Select Board placed the Town Administrator, Ryan Ferrara, on paid administrative leave effective immediately and until further notice,” said Harrison. “As this is an ongoing personnel matter, the Board will not have further comment at this time.”

Ferrara has only served as the Town Administrator since July of this year. 

Ferrara was the town administrator in Boxborough from 2019-2021. 

Prior to working in Boxborough, Ferrara had a position closer to Wenham, serving as Middleton’s assistant town administrator from 2012-2018.

Wenham has seen its share of turnover in the administrator position over the past several years.

Anthony Ansaldi served in the role from 2019-2021 before taking the Town Administrator position in Littleton. For the early part of 2021, Tom Younger was Wenham’s interim administrator.

In an interview with the Chronicle & Transcript earlier this year, Ferrara said he was looking to bring some stability to the town with the position. At the time, Harrison also stated that Ferrara brought the most experience of the applicants for the position.

In other business, the board approved the appointment of current Danvers DPW Director Rich Souza as the new public works director for Wenham.

Prior to working in Danvers, Souza was the assistant DPW director in Rockport.

“The screening committee went through several written resumes and then did in-person interviews,” said Select Board member Gary Cheeseman, who sat on the committee. “Rich Souza was the unanimous choice of the screening committee. He comes to us with a long resume of both practical experience as well as management experience in the realm of public works, and I highly recommend his appointment to this position.”

Harrison commended the selection and the process to pick the new public works director. Souza will replace current DPW director Bill Tyack, who is retiring at the end of the year.

“We tend to think that the way to get to the best candidate is to go through a somewhat thorough process, and this was the process that involved several people from different departments and a Select Board member,” said Harrison. “It is also a combination for me of management and actual on-the-ground skills which are very important to Wenham right now.”

The Select Board planned to enter into executive session to work out the details of the final contract with Souza.

“Thank you very much, I’m very excited for this opportunity,” Souza told the board.

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