TRURO — It took about a year to find him, but the smallest town on Cape Cod finally has a town manager, who will begin work in January.
Darrin Tangeman, a former Green Beret with three master’s degrees, will be paid $172,000. He’s entitled to raises, pending an annual evaluation in the second and third years of his three-year contract, which runs from Jan. 4, 2021, to Jan. 3, 2024. If he is “terminated” prior to Jan. 3, 2024, according to the agreement, he must be paid six months of his salary in a lump sum.
Tangeman’s starting pay exceeds that of the previous town manager, Rae Ann Palmer, who ran the town for six years and earned $147,900 at retirement.
He will also receive $22,500 in moving and relocation expenses. According to the contract, the 46-year-old Kansas native must live “within commuting distance of Truro.”
The contract also gives him a $4,000 vehicle allowance per year. The town will supply a cell phone, desktop computer, and laptop. He’ll also get a $10,000 stipend for professional development.
He is entitled to 13 paid holidays and four weeks of vacation per year. Tangeman could not be reached for comment by this week’s deadline.
Despite such benefits and salary, Truro’s top municipal post has been difficult to fill. The select board conducted two national searches, received about 80 résumés, and settled on one candidate, Robert Wood, only to have Wood drop out because negotiations over the salary and benefits package broke down.
In the next phase of the search, when the select board members interviewed Tangeman in September, they expressed nothing but admiration for him. It then took several weeks for the contract to be agreed upon and signed.
“I’m looking forward to him being here,” said Robert Weinstein, the select board chair. “It was a long, laborious process, but this was the end that the board was anticipating.”
Tangeman is married and has two teenage daughters. He served in the U.S. military for 22 years, 11 as a Green Beret, according to his résumé. He has lots of medical experience from those days: managing a hospital’s information technology system, running an ambulance service, and establishing a telemedicine system in Afghanistan in 2002.
Upon leaving the military, he moved into municipal work. In 2015, he became the chief administrative officer of Pueblo West, Colo. In 2018, he took on the job of city manager of Woodland Park, a Colorado mountain town of about 8,200 residents, sometimes called the “City Above the Clouds,” which has some of the same issues of second-home ownership and a tourism-based economy that Truro faces.
He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Kansas and three master’s degrees — in public administration (University of Colorado at Denver), public and security policy analysis (Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.), and business administration (University of Kansas).
Like the Outer Cape, the Pikes Peak region of Colorado, where Tangeman worked, has seen a lot of top city managers come and go. When the Mountain Jackpot News reported that Tangeman might be leaving, it was noted that the nearby towns of Cripple Creek, Green Mountain Falls, Monument, and Manitou Springs have all had frequent turnover.
Provincetown is in the process of hiring a town manager, and Wellfleet Town Administrator Maria Broadbent just started this year.
Until Tangeman begins, Police Chief Jamie Calise is acting as town manager in Truro. He is being paid $1,704.25 more monthly, which is the difference between his police chief salary of $127,449 and Palmer’s salary, Calise said.