BRATTLEBORO -- Shane O’Keefe will have a new employer starting next month.
The Board of Selectmen in Swanzey, N.H., recently announced O’Keefe was selected from a field of 35 candidates and will start as its newest town administrator on Monday, July 16. He will replace Elizabeth A. Fox, who served in the position for 24 years and recently accepted a job as finance director in Keene, N.H.
O’Keefe has a history of public service that stretches back to 1986, and he is looking forward to using his master’s degree in city and regional planning from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute in his new job. He said he has a good deal of municipal experience that the selectmen must have found very valuable.
"It’s been my entire career. I really enjoy serving the public," he said in a telephone interview, adding that he hopes to learn from Fox’s successes and achieve any goals set for him by the Board of Selectmen.
Richard Busick is serving as the interim town administrator. The former Swanzey Police Chief said he will go back to retirement when O’Keefe starts the job.
Busick, who retired from the police force on Dec. 31, said being Swanzey’s administrative head was quite a challenge, as the position is responsible for carrying out the mission and decisions outlined by the Board of Selectmen.
"I enjoyed it a lot, actually," he said, adding that he took over in April. "I’ve been
"It’s a terrific town to work in," he continued.
A 20-year resident of Walpole, N.H., O’Keefe said he is very familiar with Swanzey. He said he had responded to an ad for the job that the town posted on the New Hampshire Local Government Center’s website.
According to an e-mail from Swanzey Town Planner Sara H. Carbonneau, O’Keefe detailed in his résumé’s cover letter exactly what qualified him for the job as town administrator.
"Throughout my career, all of my professional efforts have been accomplished with efficiency and cost containment in mind, always striving for optimization of effort and effective use of resources," he wrote, "And I bring a thoughtful, positive and progressive approach to all aspects of my work, firmly grounded in providing the best possible customer service to those with whom I serve."
Fox left the Swanzey office in April and said working with its town government was a great source of pride.
"I loved the community. It was a great community with great people," she said in a telephone interview. "It was hard to move on but it was right time for me personally."
According to Carbonneau, O’Keefe has served as the planning director of Hillsborough, N.H., since 2009. Before that, he was the director of the Howard Dean Education Center, Inc., a regional workforce in Springfield. O’Keefe mentioned he has also been the manager of Rockingham and the village of Bellows Falls. Other jobs have included zoning administrator, director of planning and community development, and the assistant director of planning and development of New York City’s Department of General Services.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.