Warner town administrator to depart for Newbury job

By MICHAELA TOWFIGHI

Monitor staff

Published: 09-19-2023 2:36 PM

After upheaval on the Warner select board and an unsuccessful move to fire town administrator Diane Riccciardelli in July, she will be resigning from the job to take a similar position in the town of Newbury.

At a meeting Monday night, the Newbury select board announced it hired Ricciardelli to replace longtime town administrator Dennis Pavlicek, who was retiring after 28 years with the town.

Ricciardelli, who is a Warner resident, began her job as town administrator on January 2, 2020, after working in the land use department.

The role of the town administrator in Warner was created in the early 2000s, with the hope that administrative help could ease the burden on board members, and lead to more residents running for the position. 

During her tenure in Warner, Ricciardelli helped the select board transition from in-person to online meetings during the pandemic.

Most recently, though, town government in Warner reached a crisis point when two select board members abruptly resigned in July, citing “systemic dysfunction” in town administration.

After Christine Frost and Jody Sloane resigned from the board, the two attempted to rescind their resignations at the following select board meeting so that they could make a motion to fire Ricciardelli.

In a court ruling later that month, Judge Brian Tucker from Merrimack County Superior Court decided that once resignations were submitted they were final. As a result, Sloane and Frost’s vote to remove Ricciardelli was invalid. Frost and Sloane have since been replaced on the board by Faith Minton and Allan Brown.

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Ricciardelli did not reply to the Monitor’s request for comment.

Newbury, which is home to Mount Sunapee State Park and resort has a similar population size to Warner of 2,300. In her new role, she will carry out similar responsibilities – serving as the chief administrative officer to the select board, according to Newbury’s job posting.

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