East Providence City Council likely leans against immediately naming interim city manager

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EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence City Council holds a special session Friday night, Nov. 8, at 5 o'clock in the City Hall Chamber where it will discuss filling the city manager position left vacant by the firing of Peter Graczykowski three days earlier, but it is unlikely to officially tap an interim administrator.

Sources indicated to The Post and eastbayri.com early Friday the Council is considering at least three people for the transitional role — City Solicitor Tim Chapman, Planning Director Jeanne Boyle and former City Manager Paul Lemont.

If Mr. Chapman were chosen, then it would follow the usual protocol in similar circumstances where the sitting solicitor takes over as the manager on a temporary basis while the search for a full-time successor in carried out.

Though qualified for the position and with great institutional knowledge of the administrative structure of the city, Ms. Boyle, according to sources, would likely not accept the position.

Mr. Lemont is the most intriguing of the three names being bandied about. He spent well over a decade as East Providence City Manager before retiring in 2003. Since, he was the Town Administrator for Seekonk and is currently the vice chairman of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council. He was also a candidate for the former Administrative and Finance Officer position in East Providence before the Fiscal Stability Act was amended by the General Assembly. Mr. Lemont has a reputation as a no-nonsense, straight-shooting administrator who also has an intrinsic understanding of political mechanisms.

Friday's meeting, the sources added, would likely contain only a discussion of the interim role with a formal vote on an actual candidate not taking place.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.