Ryan Aylesworth has been selected by the Mansfield town council in a 6-2 vote to be the next town manager, beginning on December 1, 2020.
Aylesworth, currently the town manager of Enfield, New Hampshire, has signed on to a three year, seven month contract with the town with a first year base salary of $163,000. Aylesworth’s contract with the town will expire on June 30, 2024. According to Tuesday’s town council meeting packet, the contract drafted is similar to that of former town managers Matt Hart and Derrik Kennedy.
The contract includes a payment by the town of up to $10,000 to cover moving costs to Mansfield “within a reasonable time,” as residence in Mansfield is a requirement for the job. It also grants Aylesworth a $5,000 annual car allowance and a severance payment of six months salary, which equates to $81,500, if the town were to break the contract. The town has also agreed to send Aylesworth on professional development and certification achievement trips.
Aylesworth has been the Enfield, New Hampshire town manager since July of 2017. Before that he served as the town administrator in Hinsdale, Massachusetts, according to his LinkedIn profile and as CEO of Western Massachusetts Public Lands Alliance. Enfield has a population of about 4,500 and is just south of Hanover, New Hampshire, where Dartmouth College is located. Mansfield’s population is about 24,500.
“I wish to emphasize that my tenure as the Town Manager in Enfield has been very successful and I am happy in my current position,” Aylesworth said in his application materials to the town council. “I have consistently received highly favorable reviews from the Board of Selectmen, other local officials, and members of the community regarding the progress that I have helped facilitate over the past three years on many fronts.”
Aylesworth said he wants to move to Mansfield because of the proximity to family, major cities like Boston and New York and it being home to the University of Connecticut.
The decision to hire Aylesworth, opposed by Republican councilmembers Charles Ausburger and David Freudmann, was made at last Tuesday’s town council meeting.
Mansfield Mayor Toni Moran said Aylesworth’s strong background in municipal and non-profit leadership made him a good fit for Mansfield.
“We had a sense in the interviews that he fit the culture of this community,” Moran said. “He has a real serious interest in the environment and has done graduate work in that area.”
Aylesworth will replace interim town manager John Carrington, who has had a renewed contract every 90 days with Mansfield ever since former town manager Derrik Kennedy resigned in July of 2019 after allegations of racist comments and a hostile work environment. The town council also voted Tuesday to retain Carrington until early January, or until Aylesworth begins work, which he is expected to do before the new year. As part of the contract renewal, Carrington will receive a 10% raise in pay.
Aylesworth was chosen by the town council from an initial group of over 30 applicants, which was narrowed down to 12 by the consultants hired by Mansfield to sift through the group. From there, seven were given virtual interviews and then three were called in for in-person interviews, according to Moran.
“It was hard to decide between them,” Moran said. “Any of the three would work, but we really feel this was a person who matched this community with his background.”
“Any of the three would work, but we really feel this was a person who matched this community with his background.”