LEICESTER, Mass. — After nearly nine years serving as Leicester's Town Administrator, Robert Reed announced Monday that he plans to retire in July.
"It just seemed like the right time," said Reed on Monday. "A lot of it is personal circumstances."
Reed, who was Town Administrator in Sherborn before coming to Leicester 8 1/2 years ago, said his official departure would come at the end of July.
"With everything on the plate now — town meeting, the budget, plus the recruitment process on top of that — I thought it would be a reasonable notice period," he said.
"I think I'm leaving on good terms," he said. "I've enjoyed and it's been a privilege to work with the town. I've gotten along well with the selectmen and department heads."
Among the work he found most rewarding in Leicester has been helping the town through the difficult budget years, as well as participating in various building projects over the years.
"I always found building projects interesting, because they were the most tangible," he said.
Yet before his tenure ends, Reed believes a 2 1/2 override will be necessary to help the town through its continued fiscal challenges.
"When 2 1/2 was first voted in, even the proponents said if things get difficult, go for an override. That was always considered a safety valve," he said. "Yet now overrides are looked on as indicative of some management failure. But that's not the way it was ever meant to be."
Reed said the town has reached a point where it will have to either find a way to fund its services or services will be cut back.
"There's no two ways about it," said Reed. "I think it would be good for the town to have it pass. There's a lot of work that's going to have to go into it as far as what the number will be, how its going to be allocated and how that gets presented to the public, but a community just can't go through the revenue cuts that Leicester is seeing."
After his retirement, Reed does look forward to enjoying some time off.
"I've got a lot of books I'd like to read, and a lot of things that have been put off," he said. "I'll certainly miss everyone here."
Reed also said the community is very fortunate to have the people it has working for it, adding that "both the employees and volunteers in local government" have done a great job.