Matthew Daskal, 25, was brought on to replace Cynamon Marshall, the town's former human resources manager, but will be involved in coordinating inter-departmental projects as well, he said.
His official title will be director of operations and human resources. He will also be serving as an acting or fill-in zoning administrator when Lee Krohn, the town's regular zoning administrator and planning director, is unavailable or out-of-town and a pressing zoning-related issue arises, he said. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve here," Daskal said. "My door is always open.
Before coming to Manchester, Daskal served as the town manager of Westminster, Vt., from July 2011, until March 2013. That made him the youngest town manager in the state at the time of his hiring there, and his management skills were quickly put to the test when Tropical Storm Irene struck 30 days into his tenure, he said.
But the opportunities and broader scope of municipal government in a slightly larger town - Westminster, located on Route 5 slightly north of Brattleboro along the Connecticut River has a population of about 3,210, according to the town's Web site - attracted him to Manchester, he said. According to the Brattleboro Reformer, Daskal won plaudits from the select board in Westminster for his handling of the crisis brought on by Irene, and for subsequent flooding the town endured in May 2012. He was praised by the town officials for his success at securing $1.1 million in FEMA money to help the town pay for bridge and road repairs needed afterwards, in addition to being an effective day-to-day town manager.
The completion of the roundabout and the Park House at the town's Recreation Park indicated there are possibilities and opportunities here for some "interesting changes," he said.
"I think it's a wonderful community and it's a wonderful opportunity," he said. "A lot is happening here and it's a great opportunity to join a team that is looking to serve the community as well as possible."
In his new position, he will not only be responsible to participate in hiring decisions and general municipal employee support, but will also be involved in a more coordinated, strategic approach to the challenges the town faces going forward. He will also play a role, on the technical side at least, in the town's information technology effort and outreach, he said.
Daskal began his tenure in his new post in Manchester on April 1. Originally from Weathersfield, Conn., he earned a bachelors degree from Connecticut College, double majoring in history and sociology, along with a certificate in community action. He then earned a masters degree in public administration from Syracuse University. His annual salary will be $53,000.