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Allenstown's administrator takes job in North Hampton

Allenstown Town Administrator Paul Apple has given his notice he is leaving his job. Apple has been hired for the same job for the town of North Hampton.

Apple, who has served as town administrator for Allenstown since March 2010, will leave his position Jan. 16. The Board of Selectmen accepted his resignation at a special meeting Wednesday.

"My leaving Allenstown is bittersweet," said Apple. "I love the people I work with. I love the town and the people of the town. They have been extraordinarily gracious and kind to me for the last three years."

Allenstown Police Chief Shaun Mulholland has been appointed by the board to serve as interim town administrator, effective Jan. 16. Mulholland will serve in the position for an indefinite period until, according to a press release, "the Select Board members make a decision on how to permanently fill the position."

"With the deliberative session coming, they needed to fill that position quickly, and I think they wanted someone already working in the town to keep the transition smooth," said Mulholland, who has been an Allenstown employee for 18 years.

Mulholland expressed confidence that his skills and experience as the administrator of the police department will translate to his work at the town hall, noting that his was the "biggest department in town."

Mulholland also noted that he has the educational background for the position, having received a master's degree in public administration.

"Obviously there will be some things I have to learn over there," he said. "But I believe I'm prepared to take on this challenge."

Selectman Chair Jason Tardiff called the appointment "a significant step forward in ensuring that the affairs of the town continue to be effectively managed."

Mulholland will retain his position as police chief, though the daily management of the police department will largely fall to his second-in-command, Lt. Paul Paquette.

The turnover is not expected to bring "any significant interruption" to the town's deliberative session, which remains scheduled for Feb. 3. When asked if he was concerned about leaving the position so close to the deliberative session, Apple said that he was not worried, citing his confidence in Mulholland and the fact that much of the preparation work had already been done.

"I think Chief Mulholland is going to do a great job," said Apple. "I'm really, really happy about that appointment."

Apple will begin his work in North Hampton on Jan. 17, where he will receive an $80,000 annual salary. He will replace former North Hampton administrator Steve Fournier, who resigned in August 2012 to serve as administrator for Newmarket.

"North Hampton has reputation for being a really well-managed town, and there's some really interesting challenges that appeal to me," Apple said.

One of these challenges Apple noted was the multi-million dollar redevelopment of the Atlantic Avenue complex where the town offices, emergency and safety departments, and library reside.

Mulholland was appointed police chief in 2006. He was named Emergency Manager of the Year by the Local Government Center in 2010.

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Brendan Clogston may be reached at bclogston@newstote.com.



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