Letter: Upton Resident Urges Fellow Citizens To Ask BOS For An Independent Evaluation Of Town Manager

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Upton Daily accepts signed letters to the editor, contact jenniferd@uptondaily.com

Dear Editor,

I am an Upton resident and taxpayer. I have very serious concerns about Article 4 providing the town manager with a new car and about the professional performance of the incumbent town manager.

The Upton Board of Selectmen (BOS) cites a “Triple Bottom Line” approach to achieve sustainability. The three legs are service delivery, economics and transparency. In theory when all three circles interconnect and overlap maximum value is achieved.

The BOS Chairman is confident that Article 4 meets all the criteria above but, declines to substantiate his confidence claim with analysis. Instead, he will only respond to my inquiries at a public meeting subject to his rules. The chairman’s refusal to disclose the public information utilized to support Article 4 coupled with the BOS’s recent decision to provide the incumbent town manager a three-year contract extension appears related.

The BOS Chairman’s position that the only way to generate a response and facilitate a transparent conversation is at public meeting does not prevent him from providing me my requested information. If existing car records cannot be produced, it is evident that the BOS never gave Article 4 a complete evaluation as suggested.

The BOS Chairman’s position that discussion can only take place at public meeting is flawed. Protocol allows discussion with public officials outside of a posted meeting provided there is not a quorum.

I encourage a no vote on Article 4.

Many of the Upton neighbors that I communicate with share no positive comments with regard to their interaction with the incumbent town manager. They find the town manager to be unprofessional and difficult to deal with on a repeat basis. This is echoed by town employees that I meet. My own experiences with the town manager are very similar.

The BOS’s repeated disconnect to my complaints regarding the town manager’s conduct and performance is disappointing and unacceptable. In discussions with Upton neighbors and town employees, I know that I am not alone in my sentiment. The BOS’s apparent decision to do nothing and instead, reward the current town manager with a new car and contract extension is just wrong.

I have suggested to the BOS that a third-party, independent professional survey of the incumbent town manager’s performance is in order. It should measure town employee working relationships and citizen interaction experiences.  To date, the BOS has not responded to me.

I respectfully urge Upton residents to contact the BOS and express their support of a third party professional review of the town manager. Maintaining public trust is essential to good government. The citizens of Upton deserve honesty and integrity from their local elected officials managing that good government.

William D. Montenegro

Upton, MA

About Jennifer Doyle

Comments

  1. What has created these transparent attacks on the Town Manage? And is the media the place in which they should be waged? Or ought the BOS deal with it as BOS hires town manager and evaluates performance?

  2. I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Montenegro. Why does the town manager need a NEW GREEN vehicle? How often, where and why is she traveling for town business? Does the amount of travel justify such vehicle ? There should be an audit providing the appropriate records for such a request. We absolutely need transparency, before wasting additional taxpayer’s money! Did James Bates ever had a car? During his time of service, Upton was considered one of the towns in MA with the lowest property taxes. And now, what happened? I encourage Upton residents to get more involved and ask more questions! Remember it is your hard earned money that is being spent (wasted)!

  3. I’d rather buy a new vehicle then hire a consultant to conduct a third party review.

  4. I’ve had many dealing the Town Manager and find her to be a highly competent professional. She is an asset to the community. This isn’t to say I always agree with her, but disagreements typically arise from policy set by the Board of Selectmen. What the town needs is more progressive elected leadership. Feel the Bern Upton!

  5. Debbie Amorelli says:

    Mr Montenegro, what you write here lacks something very important: facts. Innuendo doesn’t cut it. If you have facts, bring them forward. Otherwise I will take your letter for what it’s worth.

    • Disappointing says:

      Mr. Montenegro’s letter makes several claims and is respectfully and tactfully written. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with all or some of his claims this is the unprofessional and harsh response. He clearly as a tax payer believes the Town Managers duties do not warrant a town provided vehicle and he shares his personal displeasure in his interactions with the Manager and her performance. Most importantly in this letter he is requesting the Chair of the BOS to provide some transparency, which he clearly outlines they are promoting, to their recent decision and actions to renew her contract and provide her with a new vehicle. Why the harsh response or attack on him for raising these questions in a tactful and respectful letter?

      • Debbie Amorelli says:

        When he produces some facts, I will take him seriously. I could not care less about the car. Vote for it or not. But questioning the Town Manager’s performance requires some facts to back it up.

      • Ms. Amorelli, I believe you misunderstand the point of Mr. Montenegro’s letter. A third party INDEPENDENT survey would establish the facts to validate or dismiss his claims. 360 degree reviews of public officials are not uncommon.

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