PLAINVILLE – The Town Council has selected Michael Paulhus, the current town manager of North Branford, to succeed Robert Lee as Town Manager, effective Aug. 15.
Paulhus was selected following an extensive search and interview process that began last October when Lee announced his plans to retire. Lee had served as Plainville’s Town Manager for 18 years, since 2004.
“We are very pleased to be able to announce Michael as our next town manager,” said Town Council Chair Kathy Pugliese. “He has a tremendous background in both government and the private sector. While we will certainly miss Robert, we found in our interviews that Michael has a great ability to communicate and an easy disposition. We feel he will be a very good fit for Plainville.”
Paulhus said Wednesday that he is “very excited” to begin his role as Plainville’s town manager.
“I know I have big shoes to fill, but I’m excited for the opportunity,” he said. “Plainville is a very well-managed town from everything I’ve seen. It also has more opportunities for economic growth and development.”
Paulhus said that North Branford is a similar-sized community to Plainville, with a similar budget, finances and bond rating. He said that his experience managing this community will well prepare him for his work in Plainville. He attended the most recent council meeting this week and met with Lee, the Town Council, Superintendent Steve LePage and Police Chief Chris Vanghele.
“I look forward to further discussions with Robert and the council to dive into future goals for the town,” he said.
Paulhus has been the town manager of North Branford since 2013. His experience also includes private sector work at RBC Wealth Management and serving as the executive administrator and then first selectman in Windham.
Paulhus’s educational background includes a Master of Arts in Public Affairs from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Arts in International Affairs from Ohio University and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Blackburn College.
Outgoing Town Manager Robert E. Lee said that he has known Paulhus since he was town manager in Hebron in the late 90s and early 2000s.
“He has a lot of good experience and he is very resident-oriented,” said Lee. “I am very pleased with the Town Council’s selection. I think he will be a very good match for Plainville and he will do a fine job.”
Until Paulhus officially takes over the town manager role, Lee said he will meet with him in his officer to go over various important topics in Plainville. Lee said he is confident that Paulhus will be able to “hit the ground running.”
LePage said that he is excited to build a good relationship with Paulhus like he currently enjoys with Lee.
“I met with Robert regularly to keep him apprised of different situations,” said LePage. “There was great two-way communication. I’m looking forward to collaborating with Michael as well.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.