Friday, March 23, 2018 01:34

Posts Tagged ‘Fire Chief’

Amateur Night At The Town Hall

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

For starters and some background:  Here’s the Town Meeting warrant article we voted in creating a stronger Town Administrator, this was passed by an act of the Massachusetts Legislature.

Bill H.2330

SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special laws to the contrary the Board of Selectmen in the Town of Clinton shall authorize and empower the Town Administrator the powers and duties to hire, appoint, remove, subject to the provisions of civil service law and of any collective bargaining agreements as may be applicable, all department heads, officers, members of the boards, committees, commissions, and employees or other individuals under the jurisdiction of the Board of Selectmen.

SECTION 2. Appointments of department heads made by the Town Administrator 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 an appointment within that period.


The understanding is that the BOS has given their power to the Town Administrator to hire and fire as well as what is outlined above. It is specifically worded with the phrase SHALL AUTHORIZE,  This isn’t vague at all.

To find out what duties are actually under the covers, the specific duties, and whether or not (although implied) the TA has the authority to supervise or be responsible for department heads, the Town Administrators new contract must be requested.  This is a public document and can be obtained under the FOIA.  Since the ability to hire and fire is already codified it stands to reason he has the power or responsibility to act as “supervisor” or put slightly differently, that department heads are his direct reports on a daily basis.  To not do that renders the very reasons for hiring and firing these professionals very superfluous.

What is the BOS trying to do? It’s like giving your supervisor at work the right to hire someone and then letting the president of the company boss the new hire around usurping the authority of the supervisor.

Now interchange Town Administrator with supervisor and president of the company with BOS, It doesn’t add up does it?

The recent actions by the BOS are likely not about who the Fire Chief reports to but more of a collision of personalities. The Chief hasn’t been popular with certain member of the BOS, some for a long long time, others for a shorter period. Whether you like of dislike the chief, the BOS has a “thing” for him and is trying to exact it’s pound of flesh. It seems like amateur night at “the apprentice” to me.

Let the Town Administrator do his job, the BOS doesn’t need full reports complete with time sheets and raw statistics from these departments, they need the TA to compile them and provide them an executive summary. They certainly aren’t acting like a truly professional board. The latest tempest in a teapot is a diversionary item best left to be resolved by the Chief and the TA.

Everybody is focused on a personality clash and will probably not even notice the Tax Classification that they will slip by screwing job producing businesses and will most likely raise the split to the maximum possible this year. How much more will you or businesses be paying??? Stay tuned!

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

A Hypocrite Is Someone Who Acts Contradictory To His Actions

Friday, February 20th, 2009

The Board of Selectmen are the Licensing Authority for the Town of Clinton, as such the following hypocritical quotes from chairman Kevin Haley are disturbing at best, showing no leadership whatsoever. These quotes are from the Worcester Telegram:

“Selectman Kevin R. Haley, the chairman, said his board has no authority to issue a liquor license extension to the Old Timer.

“My understanding is it’s the fire chief’s decision, and he should be able to decide whether the law pertains to the Old Timer, or it does not pertain to the Old Timer,”

“It’s a shame we’ve come to this point — that the chief has not been able to work things out with the Old Timer”

So how come with regard to the other sprinkler issues in town did this very same person and same board voted to ORDER the Fire Chief to sign a liquor license against his judgment? I’d say this is the usual modus operandi of the board – A total lack of leadership, dictators when it suits them and the “who me” excuse when it doesn’t.

I don’t know all the particulars and love to dine at the OT’s. I do however believe the BOS and especially Chairman Haley and MaryRose Dickhaut are continually trying to setup the Chief for failure as they’ve been gunning for him. They’ll do whatever it takes to show him in a poor light, no matter what…Actually, they never let the facts get in the way of their self serving agenda!

Disregard For Public Safety

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

I have to admit that I’m very pleased with a vote where Clinton Selectmen LeBlanc and Sheridan voted in favor of public safety.  Now I realize this doesn’t happen often, as I pretty much disagree with their votes that typically mirror Chairman Haley and Selectman Dickhaut.

Our story goes like this; The old alarm system at the Fire Station which receives alarm calls from approximately 10 municipal and 100 private buildings was damaged for good during the large ice storm in December. The unit is old and is unrepairable. Haley and Dickhaut have had a vendetta against the Fire Chief for a long time, voting to remove his Strong Chief status and are plainly Anti-Fire Chief.  So it doesn’t surprise me that they threw common sense out the window and voted NO on buying a new alarm system.

The 3-2 vote (LeBlanc, Fiorentino, Sheridan – Yes and Haley, Dickhaut – No) was the right thing to do, if this saves even one life then 60K (even in these days of budget cuts) was small price to pay. As for Haley and Dickhaut, they should be damn ashamed of their anti-public safety, personel agenda vote. This is not looking out for the good of Clinton’s citizens!