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New Finance Director Hire May Be Imminent, S&P Review ‘Went Well’



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Three of the town’s major boards met jointly on February 26 to approve an as-yet-unnamed hire for the position of finance director. Interviews finished last week, and the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance, and Legislative Council all voted unanimously to approve the hire.

The short time line was to bring in the prospective hire before the departure of current Finance Director Bob Tait in April. The hope is to get two weeks of overlap between Tait and the new hire.

While the new hire was expected to be announced soon, the name was not available at press time.

After 16 years with the town, Tait will be retiring, leaving it in a much better position financially than when he arrived.

The town achieved its AAA credit score under Tait’s management, and it was during his tenure that the fund balance was begun. Tait is leaned heavily upon by multiple volunteer boards, the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance, and the Legislative Council, for his knowledge and expertise.

Tait came to Newtown after having served as the auditor and then the controller for the Town of Fairfield. He was also finance director in Meriden for a year.

Tait replaced former Finance Director Benjamin Spragg in May 2008.

In other Board of Finance news, Tait reported to the board that the interview with S&P Global, formerly known as Standard & Poor’s, a credit rating agency that rates towns, “went very well.”

“S&P was impressed,” said Tait. “They had a few additional questions, and I think we answered them well.”

Tait said that the rating would be received by March 7.

The town currently has a AAA credit rating, and has maintained that for a good portion of Tait’s tenure as finance director. While the credit rating can only stay the same or go down, Tait seemed hopeful that the town would maintain its sterling credit rating.

“Our financial advisor was impressed with our presentation and the reaction from S&P was very good.”

Questions the town answered included its debt issuance plan, to discuss its last fiscal year, and whether there were any updates on economic development.

Editor Jim Taylor can be reached at jim@thebee.com.

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