Town Manager Search

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Town Manager Search

Post by Timeout on Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:21 pm

AND while we're at it, let's talk about the search for a new tm.
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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by xmashen on Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:24 pm

search no further! I think the choice is obvious.

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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by Mark on Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:07 pm

Not so obvious to me. Is this another JSN joke or are you serious?

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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by Timeout on Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:10 pm

I've been kicking this tm thing around for a while. I posted something earlier then deleted it. I was thinking that if there was a new member on the board in June then it might be a good idea to wait until the new board forms to choose.

From what I understand, that tm has to be appointed right after the election, so I don't know if it's possible to wait.

I guess my concern is this - we have gone through three town managers in the last three years. How do we get one that stays more than a year?

Someone has suggested no one would want to come to Rumford. I have to disagree for one simple reason - Money. Our tm position pays more than the other tm positions currently available. There's one in Livermore Falls paying in the high 40's, Richmond at $56k and Bethel - not sure what they're offering there. Rumford is paying the interim $70k plus benefits.

Someone suggested sharing again with Mexico. How does that happen? I think we would have to change the charter and that won't happen until the election, at which time we are supposedly obligated to appoint a tm.

Just some thoughts as I have them...probably a lot more I haven't thought about.
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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by Mark on Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:43 pm

Sharing with Mexico: just be aware that John Madigan inclines much more to spending than fiscal restraint. I know of a fixer-upper house there that sold at auction for $18,000 and had a thousand dollar a year tax bill.

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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by Chuck on Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:28 pm

Mark wrote:Sharing with Mexico: just be aware that John Madigan inclines much more to spending than fiscal restraint. I know of a fixer-upper house there that sold at auction for $18,000 and had a thousand dollar a year tax bill.
Hi Mark, nice to see you back.

Regarding John Madigan's managerial style, has anyone noticed that Mexico is in great financial shape, after being in financial trouble just a few years ago? Mexico's in such good shape that it's almost boring! (OK, it is boring)

Rumford on the other hand, has all the continuing excitement (and chaos) of the Gaza Strip.

Oh yea, before I forget, Mexico may have sold a house for $18,000 but Mexico now is once again receiving the $1,000 taxes on it. Rumford on the other hand became a slumlord and waited until Christmas to try to throw the tenants out. How much is that whole fiasco costing Rumford in lawyer fees and otherwise?

With all the excitement around here, why would we want someone like John Madigan that knows what he's doing?
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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by Mark on Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:16 am

What does great financial shape mean? Towns are hemmed in by state law and the amount spent is always in balance with the tax levy. It's not like a private business which can outspend its income and get into financial trouble. The only thing that happens when a town goes on a spending spree is that the tax levy goes up.

The 18k house in Mexico had a $27k tax valuation. In Rumford, a $27k house would have a tax bill of about $500, and, with homestead exemption, about $300. One of the assets of Rumford is its low property tax rate. A heavy spending town manager could end that one advantage, especially as the mill equipment begins to be removed.

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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by who? on Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:03 am

Iím pretty confident that even if Mr. Madigan wanted to do both TM jobs the Mexico residents would not let him. The surrounding towns are bustling with actions on sharing services while Rumford stands alone due to the current leadership or more appropriately lack thereof. I think the Rumford selectmen should approach Mr. Madigan and the Mexico selectmen and see if the new TM could use Mr. Madigan as a consultant. A new TM does not need help from Mr. Greaney. Mr. Greaney may be intelligent in business but when it comes to the way a Municipality is run he just doesnít get it.


Last edited by C on Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : moderator edit: more legible font)

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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by Chuck on Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:27 am

Mark wrote:What does great financial shape mean? Towns are hemmed in by state law and the amount spent is always in balance with the tax levy. It's not like a private business which can outspend its income and get into financial trouble. The only thing that happens when a town goes on a spending spree is that the tax levy goes up.

The 18k house in Mexico had a $27k tax valuation. In Rumford, a $27k house would have a tax bill of about $500, and, with homestead exemption, about $300. One of the assets of Rumford is its low property tax rate. A heavy spending town manager could end that one advantage, especially as the mill equipment begins to be removed.
Actually towns do get into financial trouble quite often. Mexico was in financial trouble a couple of years ago. Remember? With a little luck and lots of financial savvy, John Madigan was lauded for navigating a way out of it. I've heard nothing negative about him from the residents of Mexico. It's interesting that it's Rumford residents that seem to have the problem with him.

I believe that this town needs an experienced town manager. Len Greaney is a nice guy and I think he tries hard but that doesn't mean he has the municipal experience to run this town effectively. Perhaps one of his biggest weaknesses is he became too involved with TRR group to remain objective and professional. His behavior with RFD is a good example of that.


Last edited by Chuck on Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:46 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by Mark on Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:42 pm

"Mexico was in financial trouble". I think you don't understand municipal finances. On the books, it is illegal for a town to get into financial trouble. A town can have cash flow problems if a significant number of its taxpayers are holding back, in which case any town can easily get a tax anticipation note to tide them over. That's as bad as it gets. The worst situation I've ever seen was a community that refused a state government edict (not Maine) to conduct a valid revaluation. The state wouldn't let the town set the tax rate until a valid re-evaluation was finished. The town couldn't collect taxes until it set a tax rate, so it was in a dire situation. The banks were more than happy to issue tan notes and the town did not get into "financial trouble."

What is financial trouble? A police chief wants eight officers and the town can only afford five. Financial trouble! The town manager wants a five thousand dollar travel and expenses allowance, but the budget can only afford one thousand. Financial trouble!

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Search for Rumford Town manager

Post by francis58 on Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:09 am

I acknowledge that those of Us living in The Rumford area understand that Len Greaney may not be at our Service for ever. We need someone who is an excellent Administrator and someone who understands the workings of a Budget from start to finish .We also need a TM that has a proven track record of Accomplishment . We thought we may have found those Qualities with Jim Doar, but he snubbed his nose at us and I say Good Riddance Now that said I do know of a good prospect for our town and he is not far away > I will abstain from saying anymore But when you see a chance Take it . Let's Face Rumford still has many good productive years ahead and we need to exercise good Judgement in our selection

I;ve got a Secret

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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by C on Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:48 pm

I don't feel that Jim Doar snubbed his nose at us. I feel he was likely put off by town politics and people trying to micromanage his job. I'm not sure the selectmen were going to even renew his contract. They wanted someone else in the office. If the selectmen don't allow a town manager to work to his/her full potential with all the tools available to achieve realistic goals, we probably won't find one who will stay beyond the "probationary" year. There are too many "cooks in the kitchen", who seem to have control issues, for the job to be done successfully.
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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by 911Dispatcher on Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:05 pm

Can I also say that Rumford being a small town, a large number of citizens already know that Scott Cole, Bethel's current TM, has applied and is a serious consideration for the position. I hope however that Rumford is ready to pay for his services, knowing that 2 other towns have openings, it gives a huge advantage to negotiate.
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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by Mark on Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:58 pm

Whoaaa, Scott Cole. Steve Eldredge, Act II.

A town manager needs to know this is not a glory position.
It is not an IMPORTANT (echo chamber please) position.
It is not the first glimmerings of the birth of the Emperor of Everything.
It is not a major professional position, on par with brain surgeons, worthy of piles of gold.

It is a service job.
It is a technical job.
It is a job that requires humility, wisdom and skill.
It is a job that ranks somewhere below that of a reliable plumber, somewhere above that of the guy who greets you at Wal Mart.
If you think it is more than that, go somewhere where they'll let you strut.
We need competence, not self-aggrandizement.

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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by C on Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:36 pm

It is a job that ranks somewhere below that of a reliable plumber

A business degree would rank lower than a plumber?
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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by who? on Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:47 pm

Wow, I see youíre post as saying you are not a professional. I say that because if you where you would realize that any professional job requires constant upkeep of skills and training to keep up with the changing times. If not you get exactly what we have now a broken wheel! Anyone who puts the time and effort into being a good Town Manager should be treated with more respect than you are showing and should be compensated appropriately, I mean after all we are paying 1350.00 a week for a guy who lacks hugely in running a municipality. Also why would you care?


Altho I am not a Rumford resident, I had been visiting my sister on the night of the Virginia fire and was driving back home when I saw the fire.


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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by C on Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:01 pm

The educational and professional backgrounds of local government managers have changed over the years. In the early years of the profession, few managers held advanced degrees; instead, many were recruited from the ranks of civil engineers trained to build and maintain the communityís infrastructure (e.g., bridges, roads, and water systems). Today, aspiring managers generally obtain undergraduate degrees in political science, public administration, or business. An increasing number of local governments require a masterís degree in public
administration or business. During high school, a college entrance program with courses in political science, economics, government, and other social studies subjects is recommended. Local government managers also need strong English and math skills. Participating in student government and community activities may help you determine your interest and ability in government careers. While a bachelorís degree in political science, public administration, or business may qualify you for some local government management positions, an
advanced degree in these fields will increase your competitiveness. A masterís degree in public administration, which would include courses such as public financial management and legal issues in public administration, is recommended but not required.
source

I would think a town manager would rate slightly higher both on career desirability and pay scale than repairing toilets and laying sewer lines. But that's just my opinion!
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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by Timeout on Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:11 pm

Mark, you don't like Jen, John or Scott. You must have someone else in mind, which is fine. I agree with many of the things you posted. Some I don't agree with and some are just plain silly.

A town manager needs to know this is not a glory position. GOOD
It is not an IMPORTANT (echo chamber please) position. HMMM
It is not the first glimmerings of the birth of the Emperor of Everything. GOOD
It is not a major professional position, on par with brain surgeons, worthy of piles of gold. SILLY

It is a service job. TRUE
It is a technical job. TRUE
It is a job that requires humility, wisdom and skill. TRUE
It is a job that ranks somewhere below that of a reliable plumber, somewhere above that of the guy who greets you at Wal Mart. SILLY
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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by Manager on Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:58 pm

Rumford would be fortunate to be able to get Scott Cole. He is a no-nonsense guy, does not get immersed in the politics. So, if Rumford wants an effective Manager, they should look at Scott. He has a proven record in all the towns he has managed. I have known him for close to 15 years, he is great at the job.

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You must learn from your past mistakes, but not lean on your past successes.

Post by 911Dispatcher on Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:36 pm

This change would clear Rumford to hire John Madigan, manager of
neighboring Mexico, to share managerial duties for both towns for a
year, as a trial. If successful, Rumford and Mexico would become the
largest communities in Maine to share a top administrator. (Three towns
in Aroostook County already do.)

Some officials hope this
partnership will spur others, such as sharing fire or police
administration. Such progress, they say, will make Rumford-Mexico an
emblem of good government in Maine, in this era of shared services.

There's something even more shocking about this situation, though:

To a man, every elected official in Rumford agrees this should be done.

http://www.sunjournal.com/story/266134-3/RiverValley/After_the_trees_fell_in_Rumford/
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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by Mark on Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:30 pm

When your pipes freeze, who's more important? The town manager?
Practical skills have been unrealistically devalued, and paper pushing has been glorified in our society. That's why we're heading for a depression. (Just in case you wondered.) I am reconsidering the Wal Mart greeter thing. A skillful WalMart greeter might have exceptional value. Most of them are pretty indifferent. What a stage it could be for creative expression, on par with the old railroad conductor when we had such things as passenger trains. On par with the ringmaster in a circus. Laaadeees and gentlemennn! Welcome to WalMartttt!

As for me, I is a lowly laborer so you can ignore all I says.

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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by Mark on Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:32 pm

Ha! Ban me administrator but I am guessing Manager is someone close to Cole, maybe even living in the same stuffed shirt.

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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by francis58 on Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:20 pm

Now to 911 Dispatcher: Are you sure Sott Cole from Bethel has applied? He would be a very good TM but is he interested?

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Re: Town Manager Search

Post by 911Dispatcher on Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:54 pm

I don't know Francis58 you seem to hint that you have an inside knowledge, maybe you should enlighten us.
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New Rumford TM

Post by francis58 on Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:26 am

Dispatcher 9;11 I do not want to disappoint you ,But I do not have any inside manage as a retired Man of the Clergy I have inside info from the Man upstairs which I am alwas willing to share. Howevere you did mention Scott Cole and I have had the occaision to meet him at various civic and social gatherings and my impression of him he that he is a smart Man who can be as Cool as a Cucumber and as gracious as the Bishop.

Also he is a Cornel Graduate and he spent time in the US Army that alone get's my nod of approval

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Re: Town Manager Search

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