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Borough manager search begins in Kennett Square

10/08/2014 01:48AM ● Published by Lev

By Steven Hoffman

Staff Writer

Kennett Square Borough Council approved a professional services agreement with Peter Marshall and Associates on Monday night. The firm will assist borough officials as they conduct the search for a new borough manager.

Current borough manager Brant Kucera announced in late September that he is resigning from that position after six years to become the new city manager of Cannon Beach, a popular resort town in Oregon. He officially submitted his resignation letter to council on Monday night. His last day of work with Kennett Square is expected to be Oct. 31.

The borough has a history with Peter Marshall and Associates. Peter Marhall performed borough manager duties on an interim basis for about eight months while Kennett Square officials conducted the search that resulted in Kucera’s hiring with Kennett Square Borough in 2008.

Kucera said that the agreement calls for Peter Marshall and Associates to oversee the executive search for $8,300.

“I can tell you that that is a very good price for this kind of service,” Kucera said, noting that the firm will handle the initial screening of applicants, prepare summaries of candidates for borough officials, conduct initial interviews to narrow the list of candidates, and work hand in hand with borough officials on the interviews of finalists.

Kucera said that because of his previous experience with the borough, Marshall is very much in tune with what Kennett Square officials will be looking for in a borough manager.

Council president Leon Spencer and member Dan Maffei both talked about how the borough will miss Kucera.

Maffei told Kucera, “Thank you for your hard work and dedication. You have been a consummate professional. We’re going to miss you.”

Kucera said that he will be making a recommendation on who should serve as an interim borough manager at the next meeting on Monday, Oct. 20. He thanked council for the opportunity and expressed his sadness that he’ll be leaving Kennett Square.

“Thank you for allowing me to work for the Borough of Kennett Square,” he said. “This is a wonderful place to work.”

During a report about a 2013 audit of Kennett Square’s financial statements, it was revealed that, for the sixth time, the borough received the certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. This certificate of achievement was for 2012. Maillie Certified Public Accountants audited Kennett Square’s financial statements for 2013.

Mary Hutchins, the executive director of Historic Kennett Square, said that Historic Kennett Square is busy preparing for the Kennett Brew Fest this weekend. The popular event was sold out by mid-September.

Hutchins also said that Historic Kennett Square is working with officials from Longwood Gardens on possibly starting a shuttle service that would run between downtown Kennett Square and Longwood during peak times of the holiday season. The shuttle would allow some visitors to the downtown to park in Kennett Square and eat in the restaurants and shop in the businesses, while also enjoying Longwood’s offerings. The shuttle would be limited to about 200 people during Longwood’s busiest times this holiday season—Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

“This could be a win-win for both of us,” Hutchins said. She added that if the agreement can’t be finalized in time for this year, discussions could be continued so that the plans will be in place for next year.

Borough council signed off on several Architectural Review Board applications, including new façade millwork, awning, and paint at the building on 109 West State St., new window signage, exterior millwork, and awning at 148 West State St., and new signage at 120 South Broad St.

Borough council also approved the Special Event applications for a series of events, including the town’s Halloween Parade and party on Oct. 26, the Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting on Nov. 28, horse-drawn carriage rides on Dec. 7, Dec. 14, Dec. 21, and Dec. 28, and Midnight in the Square on New Year’s Eve.

To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email editor@chestercounty.com.

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