Abington picks LaFond for top post

The Abington Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Thursday to hire Carver town administrator Richard J. LaFond as the new town manager effective July 1, pending successful contract negotiations.

“I’m hopeful we can reach an agreement,” said LaFond, who lives in Bridgewater. “It’ll be nice to return to Abington.”

LaFond has been town administrator in Carver since 1996 and he served as executive secretary for Abington for two years prior to that.

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He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stonehill College, earned a master’s in public administration from Suffolk University, and has worked in area town governments for the past 24 years.

LaFond and his wife, Julie, have two teenage sons.

”We had four very well-qualified candidates, which made for a difficult decision,” said Board of Selectmen chairman Andrew Burbine. “I know Rick will do a great job in Abington, as he has proven himself to be an extremely effective manager and administrator in Carver over the past 17 years.”

The other finalists were O. Paul Shew of Franklin; William DiLibero of North Kingstown, R.I.; and Grady Miller of Narragansett, R.I.

After voting to hire LaFond, the board went into executive session to discuss negotiations.

LaFond said he’d like to settle soon on a contract, then start building good will in Abington. Outgoing town manager John D’Agostino’s tenure ends June 30.

“I’d like to ensure good relationships with the department heads,” said LaFond. “I know it’s been a problem in the past, but there’s no reason why we can’t all get along even when we disagree.”