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I wish to provide corrections and clarifications to Selectman Fleming’s false comments and distortion of the facts during his public rebuke of my two recent Milford Daily News, published letters to the editor at the 2/16/16 Upton Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting.
The BOS’s claim that a reimbursement of 54 cents a mile is less cost effective than the purchase of a new green vehicle meets no accounting standards. I have made repeated requests to the BOS for their hard number analysis. To date, they have not responded.
I never suggested that the town manager should not be provided transportation or be compensated for business related travel. Please review my 1/26/16 letter to the editor. Rather, I supplied more cost effective options that also meet the green criterion established for Upton operations.
Selectman Flemings assertion that personal attendance at public town meetings is a prerequisite for questioning public officials is insulting. Why are the meeting minutes and videos of public BOS sessions not valid resources for being an informed and engaged Upton citizen?
As for his attempt to discredit me as a hypocrite because I park a DOT vehicle at my residence also is insulting. As a DOT first responder, I am authorized to park the DOT truck assigned to me at my home. Unlike the incumbent town manager, I am required to keep mileage logs and I am charged by the DOT for domicile travel.
Selectman Fleming’s claim that the BOS responds completely to all of my inquiries is not true. Many of my requests for information or suggestions for action to date have had no BOS reaction. The BOS replies that I have received are incomplete and at times, confusing.
Mr. Fleming meeting me at my Southborough construction project office was at his request. He was specific that he wanted to meet “out of town” in order to have a “candid” conversation.
I challenge Mr. Fleming and the BOS to make sense out of Town Hall supplied records that they claim validates their position to purchase a new car for the incumbent town manager. I paid the $32.00 for the requested town manager vehicle documents that can best be described as a disjointed puzzle. I shared this information with several accounting professionals in an attempt to run a third party analysis. None of these CPA’s could make any sense and/or provide me an evaluation based on the town supplied documents.
At my request, my brother applied for the most recent Upton DPW director job opening. When I asked him about the status of his application over one month later, he informed me that he had no communication back from the town. When I subsequently questioned the incumbent town manager about the lack of a professional acknowledgement, she told me that she was too busy to respond to job applicants. Only after speaking with Mr. Fleming on the matter did my brother receive a notice that his application was received and is on file. I never suggested that my brother should be interviewed let alone hired.
When I requested information from Town Hall the incumbent town manger questioned me on why I wanted this information and how was I going to use it. She became abusive and demeaning. The town manager informed me that her only obligation was to the BOS and not to residents. When I asked for a meeting with the BOS she replied that she could not assure me that the BOS would accommodate me because she viewed my information request as arbitrary.
I ended my conversation with the town manager and went directly to the BOS.
My questioning the character and integrity of the incumbent town manager is based on her behavior and actions and not my personal agenda.
I qualified up front and in writing to Selectman Fleming that my concerns for the incumbent town manager’s job performance are not solely related to my brother’s unprofessional treatment. Instead, I focused on my own experiences with the town manager. Coupled with my conversations with other Upton residents and with Upton town employees who voice similar negative comments with respect to their dealings with the incumbent town manager, I remain concerned about the professional management of our local government.
A 360-degree performance review of a town manager is not uncommon. Why the BOS will not respond to my request for them to initiate such a performance review is concerning. If the BOS is confident in the incumbent town manager’s work performance they should welcome an independent, third party evaluation to be shared with the community.
I have maintained records of all of my email communications with Upton town officials including Mr. Fleming. I am pleased to share my records with Upton neighbors and media representatives interested in reviewing the written exchanges to verify my charge that Mr. Fleming’s recent public comments about me, annotated above, are false or misleading. I currently seek legal advice to determine if they meet the standard of libel.
Perhaps, this letter will help convince Mr. Fleming that I am, in fact, involved and accountable.
William D. Montenegro