Skip to content



Groton Exchange owner takes Groton town manager to task


I am writing to you regarding the recent performance of Groton Town Manager Mark Haddad and his handling of its business relationship with the Groton Exchange.

Recently, Mark Haddad ended the town’s five-month business relationship with the Groton Exchange. He did so without provocation, any notification or communication as to why. In addition, Mr. Haddad re-established a relationship with a large publicly traded corporation for fuel services. Since March 26, the Groton Exchange has handled the fueling requirements for the Groton Police, Highway and Water departments. The relationship was established on an “emergency basis” because the town’s fuel-storage tank had been compromised and needed to be replaced. This situation left them without a refueling station for any of its vehicles.

The town approached the Groton Exchange to resolve their fuel crisis. Immediately, the Groton Exchange handled the town’s fueling requirements and did so without predicating terms or establishing credit. The town was allowed to acquire fuel as needed. The Groton Exchange would then provide a weekly invoice for fuel, without finance charges, or an administrative fee for payment processing. For clarification, the Groton Exchange has no other credit based accounts. The Shell Corporation and their credit-card offerings are used by other local business accounts when doing business with the Groton Exchange.

To facilitate this relationship required the Groton Exchange to implement new operational-control procedures and back- office application software changes. Changes required to support the new contract were done without the town being charged for any services rendered. This demonstrated commitment of good faith goes above and beyond standard business practices.

Let the record show, the Groton Exchange provided ninety six hundred (9,600) gallons of fuel, while floating money on average of twelve hundred forty ($1,240) dollars each ten-day period and derived a gross profit of six hundred twenty four ($624) dollars. In addition, the Groton Exchange spent more than twenty-seven thousand ($27,000) dollars to acquire the necessary fuel for the town during this five-month period. The decision made by the Groton Exchange was done out of respect towards the town, its emergency need and good citizenship.

Unfortunately, the decision by Mr. Haddad to end its relationship with the Groton Exchange comes with knowledge of the town’s new fueling capabilities coming on-line within the next few weeks. This decision also goes against a previous decision made back in July. For clarification, a meeting was held to address the issuance of weekly off-warrant checks and the streamlining of the invoicing process. These steps were required in order for the Groton Exchange to be paid for services rendered. The issues identified in the meeting were resolved to both parties’ satisfaction. The resulting decision (supported by our selectmen) for the town to continue acquiring fuel at the Groton Exchange (until the towns new fueling capabilities become operational) was done in good faith.

So what has occurred to bring about this change and course of action? Mr. Haddad would tell you the issuance of weekly off-warrant checks continues to be a disruption to the normal activities of his finance team and also raises audit issues. It’s important to note, the Groton Exchange provided five months of contractual support when no one else would or could. So why did Mr. Haddad decide to go against a recent decision supported by those he works for?

Today’s economic environment has greatly affected all small businesses. Town government must make every effort to work in support of local business (owner operated/conducting business within/resident of town) so they can sustain themselves. The real value derived from small “local” business greatly benefits and helps to shape the identity of the community. Picture the Town of Groton without part-time employment opportunities for its young people, or a location for youth groups/schools to fund raise, a meeting place to catch up on local news, to share goodwill with neighbors or a conduit for transportation of children to and from their events. Mr. Haddad needs to realize this type of environment can’t be created without local business owners investing and genuinely reaching out within the community.

In closing, the decision rendered by Mark Haddad (Groton Town Manager) has caused great heartache for me as a resident and business owner. The arrogance shown on two occasions when trying to justify his actions further eroded my respect. I went to Mr. Haddad seeking only an apology for his actions. I was accused of damaging his reputation when I only sought advice from those in the community I respect (selectmen and other business owners). Lastly, comments made that he would no longer come into my store (witnessed by a town official) are immature and sel-serving. His stance on this matter and lack of professionalism has destroyed a viable business relationship and the trust once held for town government.

If this is how Mr. Haddad represents the town on its business matters, then our community’s future looks extremely bleak.


Owner, Groton Exchange, Inc.

28 Year Groton resident