Two retirements add to Groton vacancies list

Editor's Note: This corrects the anticipated starting date of the planning director.

Groton - Two longtime administrators - the director of finance and the assistant town manager - are retiring from Groton, leaving four key positions open in town.

Salvatore Pandolfo, the director of finance for 22 years, will retire Sept. 26, and Douglas Ackerman, the assistant town manager since last year and director of administrative services for 18 years, will retire Oct. 31.

"They, in my opinion, have done an excellent job over the years without a lot of fanfare," Town Manager Mark Oefinger said Tuesday. "They're going to be difficult to replace."

Groton has also been searching for a police chief and director of planning and development services. Oefinger said the town has offered the planning director's job to a candidate, and background checks are done. The name of the new director will be announced after checks are completed, with an expected start date on Sept. 29.

Groton is working with the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association to find a new chief and expects to close applications on or about Sept. 15, Oefinger said.

Groton has also started soliciting applications for the finance director's job, with a due date of Sept. 15. The assistant town manager post has not yet been advertised.

"They are incredibly important positions, as are the director of planning and the chief of police," said Councilor Genevieve Cerf. She said she knows it's the town manager's job under the charter to hire people to fill the positions, but she believes the council should have some input.

Ackerman is on vacation this week, and Pandolfo could not be reached for comment.

Pandolfo started working in Groton in July 1990 as deputy director of finance, and was promoted to director in 1992.

Prior to working in Groton, he served in posts including director of finance for the Housatonic Area Regional Transit District in Danbury, and director of administrative services and manager of finance and administration for the North County Transit District in Oceanside, Calif.

"After 41 years of working in the public finance field, of which over 24 years were with the Town of Groton, I look forward to starting the next phase of my life," Pandolfo wrote in an Aug. 4 letter about his decision to retire. "I plan on spending more time with my family and also doing some traveling."

Ackerman started in Groton as a research intern in May 1977, was appointed acting community development coordinator later that year, then returned to research intern. He became a management analyst in 1978 and assistant to the town manager in 1981. His job was later reclassified as director of personnel and labor relations, and he was promoted to director of administrative services in 1995. He became assistant town manager last year.

Before working in Groton, Ackerman served as assistant to the manager of quality assurance at Combustian Engineering Inc. in St. Louis, Mo.

"Thirty-seven years, who would have thought?" wrote Ackerman in his Aug. 12 retirement letter. "Over the years the town of Groton certainly has treated me well. While not always agreeing, employees and elected officials truly did strive to do 'what was best for Groton' making Groton a place you wanted to work."
Twitter: @DStraszheim

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