ROCKY HILL - When Guy Scaife heads to Meriden in September, town Finance Director John Mehr will become the interim Town Manager-a role he filled two years ago after the retirement of 40-year veteran Barbara Gilbert.
The Town Council voted unanimously to approve Mehr’s appointment-recommended by Scaife himself-at its August 15 regular meeting.
“John Mehr is the obvious choice for interim Town Manager,” Scaife wrote in an email response the next day. “He has successfully done it before and he is by far the most knowledgeable of all existing activities and efforts currently underway.”
Mehr said that Scaife had approached him about filling the role, but that he did not know how the Council vote would go.
“Nothing’s a hundred percent until they pass the resolution, but I had a good feeling,” Mehr said over the phone the next day.
The last time he did this, Scaife was hired within two and a half months after Gilbert’s departure. He may fill the position-while doubling in his current Finance Director role-for a longer period of time, as the Council has talked about recruiting a search firm to assist with the process of finding a new town manager.
Mehr said that he hasn’t decided yet if he wants his name to be in the running for the permanent role.
“I think I’ll take it one step at a time,” he said.
Mehr has been a Rocky Hill employee for almost 18 years.
“Over the years I’ve been exposed to a lot of situations, and that should help me out,” he said. “We have also have a good senior staff.”
As for Scaife, Mehr spoke highly of him, pointing to the town’s improved technology infrastructure, a successful referendum for a new police dispatch center, and aesthetic upgrades to the Town Hall campus.
“He did quite a bit, considering the short time he’s been here,” Mehr said.