Groton town manager says he wants to stay

Groton — The Groton town manager has withdrawn himself from consideration for the city administrator’s job in Urbana, Ill., and said he wants to stay in Groton.

John Burt, who took over for former Town Manager Mark Oefinger less than one year ago, attended a forum in Urbana on Tuesday as one of four finalists for the job, then withdrew his name.

“While it was a very nice community, I realized that I really want to be in Groton. It sometimes takes going through a process like this to realize where you should be,” he said. He plans to meet with the Town Council and discuss how to best move forward, he said.

The council will meet to discuss the personnel matter on Tuesday, Groton Town Mayor Patrice Granatosky wrote in an email. “As I've said earlier, we have been pleased with Mr. Burt's work and look forward to working with him further. We wish he and his family well whatever they decide. Of course, we would like for John to stay on as manager and work with him to move Groton forward. But if the family decides otherwise, we will probably begin the search for a new manager after budget season," she wrote.

Burt had been a potential candidate for two other jobs in the Midwest, but did not pursue them. He declined to be interviewed for a post as administrator in Colerain Township, Ohio. He placed sixth on a list of potential city managers in Moraine City, Ohio, which had five finalists, so he was not interviewed.

It would have taken Groton a few months to find a pool of potential candidates if it had to look for a town manager, said Robert Zagami, director of human resources and risk management for Groton. The job demands a candidate with municipal experience and one willing to relocate if needed and live in Groton, he said. This eliminates people who may live within commuting distance, but don’t want to move, he said.

d.straszheim@theday.com

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