Monroe city council hires manager

Jun. 18, 2013 @ 10:06 PM

 Monroe City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night to hire John D'Agostino as city manager.  Council members Billy Jordan and Dottie Nash voted against the measure.

D’Agostino will move to the area from Massachusetts, where he served as the city manager for the Town of Abington and prior to that, the Town of Mansfield. He also served as the town administrator in Blackstone and the municipal grants manager in Springfield.

He will begin working for the city on Aug. 12, but will move down sooner to familiarize himself with the area.

D'Agostino's base salary will be $140,000. He will receive a 5 percent increase after a satisfactory six-month probationary period. In addition, the city will pay $18,000 in relocation expenses.

"I'm very excited and very honored to have been selected by the council and I look forward to the opportunity to work with the council and the staff," D'Agostino said in an interview. "The staff and the council are very professional. They have the good intentions of Monroe at heart and they want to continue the improvement that Monroe has been undergoing for several years. I look forward to being part of that kind of professionalism and dedication."

D'Agostino has visited Monroe and has had the chance to tour the city and meet people.

"(Monroe has) tremendous potential in the development and redevelopment of the downtown area," he said. "The people are hospitable, friendly, open."

He added that it is a "beautiful city, rich in heritage and rich in history."

"(I am) really excited about the opportunity to work for the citizens of Monroe and for the Council," D'Agostino said.

His hiring brings a months-long job search to an end.

"This has been a long and difficult process and we are optimistic that Mr. D'Agostino will bring his experience and knowledge to our city and help us move forward," Mayor Bobby Kilgore said in a statement.

Members of city council thanked Interim City Manager Greg Demko for his work in the position.

"(You) handled it with a lot of grace," Jordan said.

Council member Margaret Desio also thanked Demko and added that she doubted there was anyone on the council who would not thank him for his work.

D'Agonisto earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Hartford and a master’s degree in human resource development from American International College. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in upstate New York.

D’Agostino will replace Wayne Herron, who resigned from the position last July after a dispute involving giving Police Chief Debra Duncan a bonus. Demko has been serving as the interim city manager since then.

D’Agostino was part of the second group of applicants interviewed by the city council after the first group of finalists failed to produce a manager. The council officially began its job hunt after commissioning a $50,000 study of the high city manager turnover rate in the city. They paid the search firm Colin Baenziger and Associates about $21,000 to conduct the search.