SHIRLEY — Chairman Enrico Cappucci assured a resident who challenged the Board of Selectmen’s leadership, and questioned the efficacy of its relationship with the town administrator, that the selectmen will handle the situation on their own terms.
Referencing a letter she recently sent to the board, resident Dina Samfield at the Dec. 8 selectmen’s meeting cited a “big concern” that she said parallels recommendations in the recently completed Department of Revenue (DOR) audit report.
Based on one of the report’s recommendations, she asked if objectives and goals for the administrator’s position would be written into town bylaws. “We need to be open about the process and codify the goals,” she said.
Flashing a hefty tome he’d compiled several months ago, Cappucci said information Samfield referenced is in there, but he may add some items based on the DOR report.
“We’re ready now to move forward,” he said. Although he may have said in a private conversation with her that he supports a switch to a town manager, Cappucci said that’s not official at this point. Incorporating the administrator’s job description into the bylaws would amount to that, he said.
Cappucci harkened back to the job description and evaluation criteria contained in the document he’d previously prepared. It provides a history of the job dating back to 1994, he said.
“My concern is that you should spell out guidelines and procedures,” Samfield said. “I’m very concerned that the board may have been operating like a banana republic,” she added, picking up on the colorful term Cappucci had used earlier in the exchange.
Before long, he cut discussion short.
“We need to work together to prevent another nightmare” like the last budget process, Samfield ventured.
Cappucci assured her the board would do its job.
“We will carry out our responsibilities; you can be sure of that,” he said.
He then made a motion to adjourn the meeting, which was seconded and unanimously accepted. — M.E. Jones