Town Administrator Tells Citizens his Door is Always Open

July 25, 2014
File Photo  Pelham Town Administrator Brian McCarthy

File Photo Pelham Town Administrator Brian McCarthy

by Lynne Ober

Pelham’s newly hired Town Administrator Brian McCarthy, 49, and his wife, Pam, are long-time Pelham residents with many close ties to the community.  McCarthy moved from his job as a police lieutenant into the town administrator’s office after being chosen as the top of six finalist candidates.

McCarthy is a former New Hampshire state trooper who served for 25 years as a police officer.

After former Town Administrator Tom Gaydos was placed on administrative leave and subsequently resigned under a cloud of secrecy selectmen opened a hunt for his replacement.

“Before I applied, I spoke with Joe Roark, who was acting town administrator, to see if he was going to apply.  If he had applied, then I wouldn’t have, but he told me he didn’t plan to apply,” said McCarthy.

Although McCarthy has been on the job since June 1, selectmen gave him a chance to settle in before hosting a Meet the Town Administrator event.  Marie Maruca, administrative assistant and manager of special projects, organized another successful event enjoyed by all.  McCarthy was eager to meet and chat with everyone and admitted that he tried to greet everyone who came through the door.

McCarthy credited his wife, Pam, for pushing him to apply.  “I’ve been very involved with the town and Joe (Police Chief Joe Roark) operated his department in a collaborative format where job titles were not the guiding principle so I’m used to gathering ideas, defending ideas, but also listening to others.”

A large contingent of Pelham seniors came to welcome McCarthy to his new post.  Each of them knew him because he had been the police department liaison to the Pelham Senior Center and had often been found at events held at the senior center.

“Being town administrator is much like being a police lieutenant,” explained McCarthy with a smile.  “You have to listen to problems and help find solutions.  I plan to work in a very collaborative manner with everyone and to remain very visible in the community.”

Already department heads are talking about the positive environment that is filling town hall.  Collaboration and smiles rule the day and certainly were visible at the event held for McCarthy.

Selectmen like that he has been visible and proactively involved in the community and with residents before taking over the reins of town administrator.  As a command officer in Pelham, he has been involved with the budget process, with managing people and knows the financial challenges facing Pelham.

McCarthy thanked selectmen for hiring him and for their faith in his ability to do the job.  “It’s a learning curve every day and I’m very honored and excited about this job.  I always wanted to be a police officer, but after 25 years, I was ready for a new challenge.”

McCarthy told one and all at the reception that his office door was open and he pledged to maintain an open-door policy.  “We must work together to make the town better and to provide for the citizens of our town.  If anyone has a question about anything that goes on in town, my door is always open,” McCarthy said.  “I’ll be happy to talk with anyone any time who wants to talk about anything that’s important to them and important to the growth and development of Pelham.”

McCarthy constantly credited his wife, Pam, for his career.  “I’m a lucky guy.  She knows how to point me in the right direction.”  McCarthy said that Pam helped him decide to resign from his police chief position in Brookline, N.H., to accept a position as a New Hampshire state trooper in 1997 and again helped him decide to accept Roark’s offer to join the Pelham police in 2006.”

“I’ve had an excellent police career, a lot of great agencies, a lot of fun,” McCarthy said.  “And when you look at demands of both jobs, I’ve managed people most of my career.  I helped the chief manage the budget.  While Roark was acting town administrator, Lt. Fisher and I’ve pretty much been running the Police Department.  It segues to over here you have to have good management, organizational skills and you have to be a good human-resources guy, too.”

McCarthy earned a nickname while with Pelham police.  “Roark called me the mayor of New Hampshire because I was always talking to people and shaking hands.  I think this trait will help me as Town Administrator because it will be necessary to network with people.”

Roark and McCarthy became fast friends during his time at the police department.  “We’ll continue to work together as friends,” said McCarthy, who noted that he wore civilian clothes while he rode with Roark during Pelham fireworks.

If you haven’t yet met Pelham’s new town administrator, look for him at any community event.