WILMINGTON, MA — At a meeting last week, the Wilmington Board of Selectmen appointed Bryan Perry, the current City Auditor for Lowell, as the town’s next Finance Director/Town Accountant, by a 4-1 vote.Perry beat out fellow finalist Jennifer Finnegan, the current Town Treasurer/Collector for Tyngsboro. Both were publicly interviewed by Selectmen on May 15.“I think both candidates did an outstanding job and have great resumes,” said Selectman Mike McCoy. “I was impressed by both, but was more impressed by Brian Perry,” said Selectman Kevin Caira. “He has Munis experience and was part of a conversation. He’s also familiar with the Board of Assessors. He’s an auditor. I think either candidate is good. We win with either one of them. For my flavor, I’m partial to Brian Perry.”“Mr. Perry has well-thought out answers to questions he couldn’t have been prepared for in a setting that was not your typical job interview,” added Selectwoman Jomarie O’Mahony. “What really differentiated the two is that Mr. Perry is currently managing a $300 million+ budget for the City of Lowell, which is three times our budget.”“I was partial to Mrs. Finnegan,” said Selectman Jonathan Eaton, who noted Finnegan has nearly 20 years more experience in municipal finance than Perry. “I felt the fraud she uncovered in her prior employment was very impressive. I do feel that she would fit in with the other finance offices here than Mr. Perry might… Experience matters a lot. I’m not going to go home disappointed if Mrs. Finnegan doesn’t get the position. I do think she’s my preference.”“I agree these were two highly qualified candidates. Very educated. Impressive resumes… They’re pretty equal when you look at them side by side. Both did well in the interviews,” said Selectmen Chair Greg Bendel. “I thought Mr. Perry had the edge when it came to interviewing. We can’t wrong with either one.”“Both could perform the job very well. They offer a different set of strengths. Mr. Perry’s municipal accounting experience and as a member of the Board of Assessors gives him a bit of an edge with respect of understanding the Board,” said Town Manager Jeff Hull, when asked for his opinion. “In terms of learning curves, Mr. Perry does not seem to be familiar with the municipal borrowing process, which is certainly something that can be learned… There will be an adjustment for Mr. Perry from going to a city-form government to a Town Meeting/Board of Selectmen… [Mrs. Finnegan] has been a Treasurer/Collector and Town Accountant, which perhaps gives her a greater breadth of experience as Mr. Perry, so there’s pluses and minuses on both sides…. In the end, whichever way the board goes, we’re in a good situation.”On a motion made by Selectman McCoy and a second on Selectwoman O’Mahony, Brian Perry received 4 votes. Selectman Eaton was the lone no vote.Hull told Selectmen he will discuss the terms and conditions for employment with Perry. Perry’s term will expire annually.Current Town Accountant Mike Morris is retiring on July 12.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSELECTMEN NEWS: Board To Interview 2 Finalists For Finance Director/Town Accountant On Wednesday NightIn “Government”5 QUICK QUESTIONS with Wilmington’s New Finance Director Bryan Perry (Part 2)In “5 Quick Questions”5 QUICK QUESTIONS with Wilmington’s New Finance Director Bryan PerryIn “5 Quick Questions”
People attend a symbolic funeral prayer for Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the courtyard of Fatih mosque in Istanbul, Turkey on 16 November 2018. Reuters File PhotoThe United States does not believe the Saudi version of the October killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has “hit that threshold of credibility,” a senior State Department official said on Friday even as Saudi Arabia prosecutes suspects.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will emphasise the need for accountability and credibility in the investigation of Khashoggi’s death during a visit next week to the Middle East, including to Riyadh, the official said.”The Secretary has been very consistent in engagements with Saudis … to really push the two points of accountability and credibility, which is that the Saudis should have a credible narrative for what happened,” said the official, who briefed reporters on Pompeo’s trip.”I don’t think from our point of view that the narrative emerging from the Saudis or the legal process has yet hit that threshold of credibility and accountability,” the official said.Pompeo wants both the perpetrators and the planners of the killing to be identified by the Saudis and appropriate punishments are meted out, the official added.Khashoggi, a US-based Washington Post journalist from Saudi Arabia who had become a critic of the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.US intelligence agencies believe the crown prince ordered an operation to kill Khashoggi, whose body was dismembered and removed from the building to a location still publicly unknown. Top Turkish officials have also tied his death to the highest levels of Saudi leadership.Saudi officials have denied accusations that the prince ordered the murder.President Donald Trump, who has cultivated a close relationship with the crown prince, told Reuters last month he stood by the crown prince despite the CIA assessment and pleas from US senators for Trump to condemn the kingdom’s de facto ruler.A Saudi court on Thursday held its first hearing on Khashoggi’s case in which Saudi Arabian prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for five of the 11 suspects in the case. The United Nations human rights office on Friday called the trial “not sufficient.”The State Department official said the United States was not “looking to get into the weeds” of the court case but would emphasize the need for a credible legal process.Pompeo will also visit Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait as part of his 8 January to 15 January trip, the State Department said in a statement.As part of his talks with Middle Eastern leaders, Pompeo will also discuss the war in Yemen as well as Iran, Syria and other regional issues, the department said.