Lakeville town administrator resigns
LAKEVILLE – Town Administrator Ari Sky, who began working in Lakeville in 2021, announced at the Dec. 4 Lakeville Select Board meeting that he would resign effective Jan. 19, 2024. According to Sky, he has been hired by the city of Watertown as its Chief Financial Officer.
"Thank you for the opportunity to serve the residents of Lakeville,” Sky wrote in his resignation letter to the Lakeville Select Board. “The Town government is staffed by a group of extraordinary individuals who bring their best in service every day."
At Sky’s annual review on Sept. 18, members of the Select Board said that Sky’s financial knowledge was a particular strength of his. But board members criticized Sky for what they described as insufficient communication.
Select Board member Evagelia Fabian was particularly critical of Sky’s communication skills. “Compared to last year some of my numbers went down a little bit,” Fabian said, referring to the rubric that board members were using to review Sky’s performance. “I just feel like there’s been a little less communication. I feel like I’m not knowing everything that I should be.”
One focus of the review was on how increased communication might be needed in light of future changes to the Lakeville Select Board, which will be expanding from three members to five.
“I know there are concerns going into the five member board that it’s going to be more taxing on you, so I’m hoping you will find another vehicle to communicate with the five members,” said Select Board member Lorraine Carboni.
Sky said that in his view, for him to do his job as the town administration he needed to be able to make decisions unilaterally. If the board did not want Sky to have that executive authority, Sky said, the board could consider moving in a different direction.
“If you go from three members to five members… then the need for executive authority is greater, not less,” Sky added. “The need for a town administrator who has [the] ability to assume some control over things is greater, not less, when you have five members. But if that’s not what this board wants then we can always try another direction. That is absolutely the board’s decision to do so.”
Members of the Lakeville select board expressed appreciation for Sky at the Dec. 4 board meeting.
"When somebody leaves it's always a sad time,” Carboni said. “Ari, you served us well for the last three years.”
"I am probably a better selectman and I have a whole lot more knowledge because of Ari, and I want to thank him for that,” Fabian said.
The Chair of the board, Brian Day, said that the board needed to make a decision about how to appoint Sky’s successor, and said that having an interim town manager was an option that the board could explore.
“We've got a lot of things to discuss,” Day said, including “whether or not to put an interim [town administrator] in place [and] whether or not to look for a new town administrator... in the near term or after the election when two more [select board members] are put on."
Sky said that he was willing to help the board transition to a new town administrator.
“I'll do anything I can to help the transition,” Sky said.