MANCHESTER — After working for more than 15 years as the town’s executive officer, General Manager Scott Shanley said he’s most looking forward to spending time with his wife and family when he retires later this year.
The Board of Directors, during a budget workshop Thursday vening, unanimously voted to approve a resolution laying out the timeline for Shanley’s retirement — which he calls a “rewiring” — over the summer on or around July 15.
Shanley explained during the meeting that passing the resolution was the first step in the process toward a transition to a new general manager, and he’ll remain on call for two months after he leaves to continue to assist in the search for an interim manager.
Though saving formal goodbyes for when it’s closer to Shanley’s departure date rather than Thursday’s short budget meeting, Mayor Jay Moran on Friday thanked Shanley for his years of impact in Manchester.
“Although we are happy for Scott to go on and enjoy the next chapter, we will miss his leadership in our community. Over the past 15 years he has guided us through a long recession and now the COVID-19 pandemic,” Moran said. “Throughout his tenure we have successfully passed two school construction referendums, improved our infrastructure from sidewalks and streets to sewer and water projects and major improvements in our parks and trails, and of course, an improved downtown business district and plans for a better Broad Street, just to name a few. While doing this we have increased our fund balance.”
Shanley said he’s confident in Manchester’s existing leadership, which helped him realize it’s an appropriate time to move on. He said some of these officials and town leaders, both elected and not, have what it takes to guide the town in a post-COVID-19 world.
“We have a really, good, strong team of people,” Shanley said. “It just seems like a really good time to have a new set of eyes and a fresh take on all of the issues that confront us on a daily basis.”
Spending time with his family, and “rewiring,” as he likes to put it, is Shanley’s foremost focus upon retiring this summer. He said he and his wife, Roberta, plan to continue to live in the area while spending some of their time travelling.
“We do have a plan to spend some time together and do some things that we’ve been wanting to do,” Shanley said. “This job can be all encompassing, and I’m looking forward to an unwinding period.”
Shanley was hired as general manager on Jan. 4, 2006 — succeeding Steven R. Werbner — after working for 10 years as Enfield’s town manager. A Glastonbury native and graduate of Glastonbury High School, Shanley became Enfield’s town manager in February 1996. Before then, he worked for four years as city administrator for Waterville, Maine and was also assistant town manager in Groton.
Now after having Shanley for 15 years, Manchester town officials will begin a search process for his replacement.
“I look forward to formally thanking Mr. Shanley and his family over the next few months. For now I say, ‘thank you!’” Moran wrote in a statement.