Friday, March 23, 2018 01:33

Posts Tagged ‘charter’

The Do Nothing Selectmen Did Something (Updated)

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Wow, I’m stunned.  The do nothing BOS actually did something at one of their infrequent meetings, and it actually made sense.  At the urging of Selectman Connolly the board created three sub-committee’s to study Regionalization, Capital Planning and Changes to Town Government.

I’m glad to see that the board that hasn’t done a damn thing all year accept issue liquor licenses and turn down automobile sales permits has done something that makes sense and has a pro-active tone to it.

I won’t get too giddy though, It may be nothing but lip service by the Chairman to placate the masses as it had been brought up in open session by Connolly and couldn’t be swept under the rug.  Who knows, maybe they have room on their committee for someone that served on the Charter Commission and as a Selectman, one who has true insight and a working understanding of town government and what is lacking.  I wonder what would happen if I applied???

Hmmm, maybe, just maybe it’s worth a shot, I wouldn’t expect to be selected as this board wants things to stay as they are, but it would be a good exercise in showing what hypocrites they are.  Dickhaut and Haley both ignored the  proposal I put forth as a starting point when I  was still on the board.

In fact here’s the starting proposal which was cut from the old charter document and put forth for DISCUSSION, this never took place as Dickhaut and Haley just sat there slack jawed and ignored it.

It should be an interesting committee, bet the outcome is what Dickhaut wanted all along, A strong Town Administrator with no specified duties so she can tell him / her what to do without boundries.

Strong Chief-Weak-Chief-Beggarman-Thief

Friday, April 17th, 2009

In regard to the strong Chief-weak Chief debate there are actually a couple issues going on here. The PAV members don’t like Chief Hart because he legally tried to get them to sprinkler their building and they have a real vendetta against him. Look no further than the person who is putting out the “Vote Yes” signs. He is a member of the PAV.

The other issue is that some PAV members have been encouraged by “certain members” of the Board of Selectmen to do this as Maryrose Dickhaut abhors the Fire Chief and Haley does what he thinks is politically expedient. When the board last hired a chief her pick was a certain Fire Captain friend.  She wants nothing more than to get rid of Chief Hart so she can make her buddy  a certain Fire Captain, the Chief.  She can then micro-manage that department and who gets hired.

Also look for the Selectmen to try and discredit Chief Hart at one of their next meetings to influence public opinion against him, thereby enabling the”Yes” dissolve the strong chief Ballot question to pass. This is already in the works!

Whether or not you like the person, this question should not pass, as it affects the POSITION forever.  The Board of Selectmen has little knowledge about hiring public safety personnel. In fact as a Selectman I was a bit uncomfortable doing so, but as the charter which would have changed this didn’t pass,  I had no choice.

In my opinion the ballot question should be about the POSITION  and not the person in the position, He will eventually retire and whoever get the position will remain a weak chief. These people are doing the town a great injustice in pushing for the chief’s position to be made weak.  My belief is that all department heads such as the Police Chief and DPW Superintendent be made “strong” and are allowed to hire their own staff.

As a former charter commissioner and selectman I can tell you these strong positions were in the charter. I would also like to see the town administrator become a strong town administrator with oversight in regard to the department heads hires. That said, I cannot support the “strong administrator” warrant article as written since it doesn’t give the Board of Selectmen oversight in regard to who the town administrators hires.

I would support that article if the following line was inserted into it: Appointments of department heads made by the Town Manager shall become effective on the fifteenth day following the day notice is filed with the Board of Selectmen, unless the Board of Selectmen by a majority vote of the full board, vote to reject such appointment within that period.

Joe Notaro

Vote NO on the Ballot question, Retain the Strong Chief Position

Contradictions and PuPu Platers

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

At the July 16th meeting of the Clinton Board of Selectmen some contradictory events unfolded. That night the new position of “Administrative Assistant” which has replaced the former Selectmen’s Secretary Position was appointed. The BOS seemed to have vested their power to interview or put forth one name for consideration with the Town Administrator.

Now here’s where the contradictions start, the same board that vested its power in the Town Administrator to pick an Administrative Assistant decided that night it wanted reports from all departments every month so they can manage and monitor sick leave and vacation time for town employees. I certainly don’t understand the logic being used here; the Town Administrator and department heads supervise the departments in their charge and monitor sick leave and vacation time themselves. This is what department heads are paid to do. Why has the BOS decided to micromanage the supervisors it purportedly “trusts”?

This is the very same board that wants you to come to the Special Town Meeting and vote to give them the unilateral power to assign (and remove) power to the Town Administrator while at the very same time micromanaging sick leave and vacation time. This very same BOS wants to be able to vest (and conversley remove ) powers and duties in a Strong Town Administrator (Although we have absolutely no idea what the powers and duties are going to be, as none have ever been listed , published or discussed publicly). The hypocrisy flies in the face of common sense. It’s OK for the Town Administrator and potentially for department heads to hire and fire but not to administer sick leave and vacation time? This BOS really needs to figure out what the heck it wants to be when it grows up, an actual policy making board or the Board of Micromanagement…I did hear Chairman Haley mumble something about the Fire Chief during discussion about this motion though, Hmmmm…

Without a warrant article that actually spells out what the BOS want to do with the position of Town Administrator (As the failed charter did in 2005) I would never vote to give them the power to petition the legislature for a completely generic article to assign as many or as few of their duties as they decide to, not what you the citizen want. This is an al a carte solution which would change from year to year depending on who runs the BOS. It creates a veritable mish-mash of responsibilities. (Bill Connolly called it the PuPu Platter approach, very good description!)

Example: Its 2008, The chairman and board decide the Town Administrator can hire the dog officer this year, Now it’s 2009, with a new chairman who decides there will be no hiring of the dog officer this year, but the Town Administrator gets to hire the DPW superintendent. Wait, it’s 2010, another new chairman and new board and they don’t want the Town Administrator doing any hiring. This scenario is inevitably what will happen, is this churn what you the citizen would want from your local government? I really hope not as it would take another act of the Legislature to reverse this ridiculous warrant article. Vote NO on this article, Hold the BOS accountable for their actions, Make them spell out exactly what they are going to change, don’t give them the power to pick and choose like a person at a buffet table!

In the end it’s YOU the citizen that should be making these decisions, either through a Charter process or a Town Meeting vote that has ACTUAL DETAILS.