Tolland finance director appointed as interim town manager

Aug. 5—TOLLAND — Lisa Hancock, director of finance, was appointed interim town manager in a unanimous vote at a special meeting of the Town Council Wednesday night.

Hancock will be sworn in to the new position Friday, filling the vacancy left by former Town Manager Michael Rosen. Rosen submitted his resignation in July in order to accept a similar position in Massachusetts. His last day was today. “It’s a big job, I’m ready for it though,” Hancock said early today.


WHO: Tolland Town Council in a unanimous vote names Lisa Hancock, director of finance, as interim town manager.

SEARCH: The council must now decide how to conduct a search for a permanent replacement for Michael Rosen, who resigned after two years to take a similar job with a Massachusetts town.

Hancock said she began her municipal government career as director of finance in Florida before moving to Connecticut, and has served with various towns for 37 years.

“I know the town and that gives me an advantage,” Hancock said of her experience in Tolland.

Councilman Lou Luba said while a few candidates expressed interest in applying for the interim position, Hancock was the only one to file a formal application in time for consideration. Luba said Hancock has a deep familiarity with the town and its operations, and has won a number of national awards as a finance director. “She meets all the qualifications, she’s very familiar with town operations and she was a perfect fit for an interim manager,” Luba said.

Town Council Chairwoman Tammy Nuccio said she was happy to see Hancock appointed as the town’s first female manager. She said she is confident that the transition will be smooth due to Hancock’s experience in the town.

“Having that continuity is going to be really important for the town,” Nuccio said.

Councilman Steven Jones said Hancock is well known around the town offices and is a dedicated professional in her field. He said it was especially important that Hancock would fit into the town easily, as she may serve for some time. The town’s previous search for a permanent town manager took two years.

“We don’t expect this to be any easier,” Jones said, citing the pandemic as a confounding variable.

Nuccio said the town would look at hiring a professional firm to perform a national search for candidates, as they did for the previous manager. She said it gives the town a good pool of candidates to pick from and makes the decision much easier for the town.

“There’s a lot of work that happens behind the scenes that a group or organization will be able to handle more seamlessly than us,” Nuccio said.

Jones disagreed, however, saying they council should not use an agency again. Steven Werbner, the town manager that served before Michael Rosen, was appointed after using a volunteer committee to search for a manager with roots in the community. Werbner started working for the town of Manchester in the 1970s and retired as its general manager to ultimately serve as the Tolland town manager for 14 years before stepping down from government service.

Jones said he would prefer that committee method rather than using a national search agency, in order to find a manager who would hopefully stay with the town longer.

“I know there’s a little bit of disagreement within the caucuses,” Jones added.

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