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Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts’

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.

Power Tripping – Clinton Style

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Just like Russian troops invading Georgia the Clinton Board of Selectmen, in a disgusting display of power and favoritism made their yearly appointments.

Police Lt. Joseph Cassasanto was terminated from the retirement board in favor of Selectman Sheridan’s Uncle George. (She did abstain from the vote but it seems the fix was in.)

Dr. Gregory Stahl was terminated as well, He had recently finished standardizing Clinton’s employment application and was working on updating the personnel bylaw as well as implementing a sexual harassment policy (The town has none). Mary Sulkowski had resigned leaving two appointments. on the Personnel board. Again, the power trip knob was turned up to high, in Stahl’s place Sheridan’s sister and former board member Maryann Castillo were anointed. (Sheridan abstained, no matter the die had already been cast)

In the Fuller Field appointment, longtime Dickhaut supporter John Merriman was picked over Coaches and folks with a vested interest in the field. Once again Selectman Sheridan had to abstain because a relative was also up for reappointment on this commission.

Just how many relatives do you you really need to run a town? I remember a letter that Mr. Sheridan (Selectman Sheridans Husband) once wrote to the newspaper stating that in Clinton appointments were allowed to be held into until the person resigned as that was the honorable thing to do. I guess it’s all a matter of do as I say not as I do in the case of Clinton Politics, a Bloodsport indeed!