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January 20. 2013 9:54PM

New Henniker town administrator settles in after a long move

HENNIKER - Tom Yennerell has had a whirlwind winter thus far, leaving his home behind in Colorado to come to Henniker's to serve as the new town administrator. Despite the chaos, Yennerell is happy to be home in New England again.

Yennerell, 59, began serving as town administrator earlier this month and said the transition into his new post has been smooth. He has 16 years experience as a town administrator, serving 10 years in Rutland, Vt., before chasing a dream that led him west to try life in Colorado. For five years Yennerell managed the town of Mancos, population 1,330, a remote area of the state where ancient Pueblo people made their homes.

But despite the beauty and quiet of the area, Yennerell and his wife began longing to return to the East Coast.

"We missed the culture back east, so my wife and I targeted southern New Hampshire as a great place to move back to," he said.

While continuing to work in Mancos, Yennerell said he kept an eye on job postings in New Hampshire and when the Henniker job opened up, he jumped at the chance. He applied, went through a rigorous vetting process, and eventually landed the job.

"We basically had to pack up and move in 30 days," he said. "We still have a house for sale out there, if anyone's interested."

Yennerell said the biggest challenge about starting his new job in January is timing.

"I'm coming into this in the middle of the budget season," he said. "It's going to be difficult to try and hold the tax rate but move forward in an organized fashion."

Yennerell said his goal is to ensure that the town is meeting the needs of the taxpayers while preparing for the future, a balance that is difficult to strike when the economy is uncertain.

But the challenges aren't overwhelming, said Yennerell, and the benefits of being in Henniker are vast.

"There is an awful lot of community spirit and involvement in Henniker and that's terrific," he said. "And I knew coming in that the town has a long-term, highly dedicated staff, so that says a lot about the town."

nfoster@newstote.com


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