On Tuesday night the Pemberwick Glenville Association had its annual summer meeting and both First Selectman Peter Tesei and Ben Branyan, the new town administrator taking over for John Crary, got to hear what was on the minds of residents in that section of town.
Ben Branyan quietly took notes for most of the meeting, but Glenville resident Judy Moretti asked finally, “Peter, can Ben speak? Can he tell us about how his first 30 days have gone?”
Rising to address the 50 or so who had gathered at the Glenville Fire House, where intermittent radio calls and signals pierced the conversation, Mr. Branyan summed up his resume briefly, mentioning that his roots are in Michigan where he was assistant to the city manager. Branyan said that ten years ago, he relocated to Stratford where he still lives with his wife and three children.
In Stratford, which Branyan said had a town manager form of government for 100 years and last year switched to a “strong mayor” form of government, he stayed on as chief administrative officer before becoming Stratford Public School’s chief operating officer for 4 years.
Before coming to Greenwich he said, “I was toying with the concept of becoming a school superintendent, and realized that was not the right decision for me,” he joked.
In Greenwich, Branyan said he had a job shadowing opportunity while Sidney Freund was the Superintendent, and found himself offered the school business administrator role.
“Then I saw the town administrator position open up. And when I got the nod, I felt like I was coming home. I really like the day-to-day operations. Where else can you go to a job and you’re talking to the chief of police in the morning and talking to parks and rec, and then talking to the health department and Nathaniel Witherell,” he said.
“I’m in the accumulated knowledge phase,” Branyan said, adding that he has met with all department heads in the 30 days since he began. “To answer your original question, yes, I can speak,” he said to a round of applause.