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01/04/2023 08:00 AM

Clearly State my Concern

The article in the Dec. 15 issue of the Harbor News regarding the Charter Revision Committee’s public hearing (“Charter Revision Proposals Head Back to Council”) did not clearly state my concern with hiring a town manager for a longer term. I realize if a town manager decides to leave, the town wouldn’t have to pay for time remaining in the contract.

A longer contract benefits only the person hired. You could hire a person for 10 years though if the individual chooses to leave at any point they simply may do so with 30 days' notice.

However, if the town hires a town manager for five or more years and after a year or two, for whatever reason, the town wishes to sever ties with that person, the town would be required to “buy out” the remaining years of the contract which would be very costly to the town. Unfortunately, from time to time it’s in the news that things “go south” with a person under contract and the town or city has paid very dearly to end the contract early.

My suggestion is that the Town Council continue to provide a three-year contract and each year, after the first year of the contract, renew the contract for another three years. This would offer greater job security to the individual.

It is great that we have an excellent town manager and that he has chosen to extend his employment with us after his initial contract. The town is well run and moving to this form of town government was the right choice. However, I don’t want to put our town in a position where 10 or 20 years from now the decision to hire a town manager for a longer term could be a costly mistake.

Donald R. Hansen