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Nolan ready to take the helm as Narragansett Town Manager

September 17, 2013

Photo By Audrey O'Neil

NARRAGANSETT- The town of Narragansett will be welcoming both a new resident and new town manager in October.
After a long interview process, the Narragansett Town Council unanimously appointed Pamela Nolan to the position on Sept. 3.
Nolan has more than 20 years of experience working as town administrator and town manager. Her past experiences include serving as the town administrator for the town of Truro, Mass., and as the town manager for the town of Plymouth, Mass.
Nolan is currently employed as the town administrator for Seekonk, Mass., a position she has held for the last two years.
In a Sept. 10 interview at Nolan’s Seekonk office, Nolan said her motives for seeking a new position include a desire for professionalism.
“I am looking for a place where I can feel like a professional, basically it was a difficult political atmosphere,” said Nolan. “It was a very difficult political atmosphere, extremely difficult political atmosphere. So that is my reason for leaving.”
Nolan said one of the reasons she was drawn to Narragansett was for its proximity to the ocean.
She said she is adept at serving as a town administrator in beachfront communities and has only worked in such communities until she assumed her current position in Seekonk two years ago.
She said also that the town of Truro had 11 town beaches, which enabled her to learn how to deal with problems that often plague seaside towns.
“I have a lot of experience working with beach communities,” Nolan said. “I am very used to dealing with all of the problems that come to a community that is a beach community. I am very used to having your population triple or quadruple in the summer months. It is a specialty; it is experience that not everybody has.”
Although she has been appointed town manager of Narragansett, Nolan is still working in Seekonk until she takes over for Interim Town Manager Richard Kerbel in June.
The council appointed Kerbel as interim town manager in February. Kerbel replaced Narragansett Police Chief Dean Hoxsie who the council appointed to assume the town manager’s duties after agreeing to a separation pact with former town manager Grady Miller on May 31, 2012.
The town and Miller parted ways after several councilors expressed dissatisfaction with Miller’s job performance and a $3,000 donation made to the Narrow River Preservation Association, which the council deemed inappropriate.
Nolan said she is in contact with Kerbel on a daily basis to keep abreast of all the Narragansett happenings.
Nolan said that one of the main challenges of working in Narragansett would be figuring out how to maintain the quality of life in Narragansett without over burdening the taxpayers.
Since all communities in the United States are facing financial limitations, it will be up to the town manager to ensure that she provides the town with the level of services without over taxing the taxpayers, said Nolan.
As for issues specific to Narragansett such as Deepwater Wind Nolan said that she is very familiar with working with wind turbine issues and understands the challenge it brings to any community.
“I was on the Cape for seven years with Cape Wind so I am very familiar with that particular type of issue and I know how much controversy it raises for both sides of the issue,” said Nolan. “I am familiar how we handle it, we are going to need a lot of help from our elected officials, our state delegations and national delegations on this. And we have to always include the citizens and how they feel because it is their back yard; it is their property it is their home being affected.”
Nolan said that she promises to stay vigilant on the topic of Deepwater Wind because she has experienced a situation similar to this through Cape Wind and knows how much it will affect Narragansett.
For the future, Nolan hopes to establish a working relationship with the town council, department heads, the employees and the citizens. In order to establish the relationship, Nolan said that she would have to stay knowledgeable on all problems facing Narragansett presently and in the future.
With an open door policy, Nolan said that she invites citizens and the business community to inform her on the problems or any concerns that they have in Narragansett.
“All spending has to be very carefully overseen because are budget is tight and times are tough, so that is a major challenge,” said Nolan. “I think I better be a good leader who is competent, genuine, has integrity, inspires trust. It is going to take all of my skills and experience because Narragansett needs a stable town manager, they need to have a period where that position is stable and I am going to try my best to make that happen.”
Nolan is the mother of two children and in her free time enjoys reading, attending theater performances and cheering on the Bruins, Celtics, Patriots and Red Sox.

Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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