Sneaking In Through The Back Door

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Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:49 am

For a town government that talks a good game of providing an “open” government, the majority of our selectmen have played just the opposite. It seems the “good old boy” method of selecting town leaders combined with a “bait and switch tactic” is how the game is really played.

Look at what happened with our current Town Manager. Len Greaney was pushed into place by 3 of our selectmen by selling him to us as an “interim” town manager. Now that he’s in place, those same 3 selectmen have voted to remove the term “interim” from his title. That sure makes it seem to have been their plan as soon as they did their quick 180 degree turn away from John Madigan. They didn’t tell the people in the community what their plan was. They just snuck him in the back door.

What are Len’s qualifications to be town manager? Know one really seems to know. People have made a big deal out of his experience as an executive for a fortune five hundred company. What exactly did he do for which fortune five hundred company? Someone asked him directly which company he worked for and he refused to answer. If his major qualification is working for this company, why the big secret about it?

Fact is, it seems there really isn’t a lot we do know about Greaney. Did he ever have to supply the town a resume? How about go through an interview process and answer questions about his work experience and qualifications? Were there any background checks done? Based on what we know about him, his major qualifications as a town manager seem to be that he’s buddies with at least 3 of our current selectmen.

This man has an awful lot of responsibility in our town for us to know so little about his background.

If you can get past what appears to be the deception of the “select three” in the way they went about this whole thing, you still have to know they did a great disservice to the town. They robbed us from having the chance to have the best possible candidate leading our town, chosen from a field of qualified applicants.

Our community deserves that, even if it means the town may end up hiring someone that isn’t one of the buddies of these three selectmen.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by Mark_Henry on Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:45 pm

An "interim" anything is a short-term fill in for a full time job. The Selectmen made it very public that Len would be holding the position until next year when they would start looking for a full time replacement. All that's happened is that the word "interim" has been removed from the position's title. This gives him more credence when dealing with outside entities, who might balk at dealing with a part time person when negotiating a long-term deal.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by C on Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:03 pm

Have they started taking applications for a TM? I feel that as soon as they knew Mr. Doar was leaving they should have started a search for qualified applicants. They may have more people apply if they give plenty of time for the person to make arrangements if they need to move their family to the area. The chosen qualified applicant certainly could have been offered the "interim" prefix until June.
I'm thinking the 'select three" have a candidate in mind already...

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by steve on Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:46 pm

Admin wrote:What are Len’s qualifications to be town manager? Know one really seems to know. People have made a big deal out of his experience as an executive for a fortune five hundred company. What exactly did he do for which fortune five hundred company? Someone asked him directly which company he worked for and he refused to answer. If his major qualification is working for this company, why the big secret about it?

Fact is, it seems there really isn’t a lot we do know about Greaney. Did he ever have to supply the town a resume? How about go through an interview process and answer questions about his work experience and qualifications? Were there any background checks done?

Wasn't there an issue some time back regarding the supposed military service of a certain interim town manager? Perhaps the same resume writer that mistakenly portrayed him to be a decorated Vietnam war soldier also mistakenly represented his employment history? Then again, maybe I'm just having a senior moment and my memory is a fantasyland.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by marktripp on Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:11 am

I believe until we get a true Town Manager that has some Town Government knowledge this Town is going to be lucky to just hold on to the little it has now. The current vision of the crew running the Town is to do away with everything we currently have.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by Chuck on Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:37 am

When Greaney wouldn’t allow on duty members of the Fire Department to attend a town meeting that was occurring in the building that was next to the fire station it seemed to indicate that Mr. Greaney either shares the vendetta that some selectmen seem to hold against the Firemen or is being controlled by certain selectmen. The firemen have been attending those meetings for as long as I can remember. You would think that our town officials would welcome input from its citizens, particularly if they were town employees.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by C on Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:58 pm

The board voted unanimously to reappoint Tom Carey as the town attorney. The post was advertised, with Carey being the lone applicant. Rumford Falls Times- Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where was this advertised? Not that anyone would really want the job, I certainly wouldn't, but I saw no advertisement... I've found no advertisements indicating that the town is looking for a manager either....

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:13 pm

Chuck wrote:When Greaney wouldn’t allow on duty members of the Fire Department to attend a town meeting that was occurring in the building that was next to the fire station it seemed to indicate that Mr. Greaney either shares the vendetta that some selectmen seem to hold against the Firemen or is being controlled by certain selectmen. The firemen have been attending those meetings for as long as I can remember. You would think that our town officials would welcome input from its citizens, particularly if they were town employees.

I believe the decision was based upon response time. If you are on duty, you should be at your post. The reason fire apparatus goes the wrong way up Congress Street is to reduce response time, but it takes longer to safely go from the municipal auditorium to the fire station.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by C on Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:11 pm

Admin wrote:
What are Len’s qualifications to be town manager? Know one really seems to know. People have made a big deal out of his experience as an executive for a fortune five hundred company. What exactly did he do for which fortune five hundred company? Someone asked him directly which company he worked for and he refused to answer. If his major qualification is working for this company, why the big secret about it?

Fact is, it seems there really isn’t a lot we do know about Greaney. Did he ever have to supply the town a resume? How about go through an interview process and answer questions about his work experience and qualifications? Were there any background checks done? Based on what we know about him, his major qualifications as a town manager seem to be that he’s buddies with at least 3 of our current selectmen.
He worked for Digital Equipment Corporation as a manager for the Process Technology Development Program. I'm not sure how that relates to municipal administration. He probably is well qualified to work with the personnel... Would a New Page department manager qualify for the TM job? Here are a couple quotes from the Rumford Charter and Bylaws:
Section 2. Qualifications. No person shall be appointed town manager unless he presents an acceptable record of previous training or experience in the administration of municipal affairs; he is an American citizen of unquestioned allegiance; he is of voting age, and he is mentally, physically and temperamentally fitted to actively perform the duties of the office and available for full time service. He need not be, at the time of his appointment, a resident of the town or of the state. source- Rumford Charter
Section 3. Absence or Disability of Town Manager. The Town Manager may designate a qualified administration official of the Town to perform the Manager's duties during a temporary absence or disability, subject to confirmation by the Selectmen. If the Town Manager does not make this designation, the Selectmen may appoint a Town official to perform the Manager's duties during the absence or disability or until the Manager returns or the disability ceases. source- Rumford Bylaws
This is an absence of a TM. Was Len a town official? While he may be more qualified than the average person I don't think he has the training that previous applicants have been required to have. Also it says in the charter:
the board of selectmen shall have the power to execute with any town manager, after he shall have served in such capacity for 1 year, a contract of employment for a period not to exceed 3 years.
So he may be managing us for a while...


Last edited by C on Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:45 pm

Your quotes do not include the changes made this past June. I believe Section 3 pertains to the absence or disability of a seated Town Manager, not a vacancy in the position. We have had previous town managers who have been much less qualified than Len, but I will not get into specifics. I believe Len was brought on for his management skills. He has worked to resolve a number of issues in the town, which is his forte.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by Mark_Henry on Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:03 pm

Chuck wrote:When Greaney wouldn’t allow on duty members of the Fire Department to attend a town meeting...

There have been public complaints concerning both on-duty firemen and police attending Town Meetings in the past; especially when occupation of the town hall was limited due to the work on the fire exit. I personally heard several people (3-4 per meeting) complain to Jim Doar following many of hte town meetings since December of last year (when I started attending) up until his departure.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by Mark_Henry on Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:05 pm

C wrote:I've found no advertisements indicating that the town is looking for a manager either....

The town wouldn't be filling the opening until the next town meeting. Since that wont be until June of next year, it wouldn't make any sense to start advertising for the opening now and then make the candidate wait until next summer. People looking for a job now usually want the job now, not in 10 months.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by marktripp on Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:13 pm

The complaints starting coming when the firemen and police men where attending because then the liars where held accountable for their actions. Without the truth sitting in the audience the 3 selectmen that have a hard time with 2nd grade morals can allow the lies to fall out of their mouths every time they are opened. I believe the complaints started after the meeting when Frank D. challenged a FF outside then back pedaled until the tape was played. It is noting to do with response times in their eyes, if it where then they would be advocating for things to make these services better not run them into the ground!

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by Chuck on Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:46 pm

Mark,

The response time explanation doesn't pass the straight face test. I believe you are partially right about them having a hard time lying when you guys are in the room. I think they also won't let you go to these meetings as a form of retribution. They have demonstrated that they will try to make you pay any way they can.

Greaney’s comment in the paper about making this the best fire department in the state hasn’t matched his actions. I’d like to see him change that. If he does have any integrity, he’ll stand up to the selectmen that have it out for you guys.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:04 pm

Everybody is looking for a conspiracy, but the fact of the matter is that the firefighters are trying to protect their excessive overtime pay. That's the bottom line. Sorry Mark, nothing personal.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by Timeout on Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:46 pm

All the conversation is so funny...of course the selectmen don't want the firemen there...Mark Henry, the firemen stood out in the hall when the crowd was at capacity...if you had been at all the meetings, you would know that. Honestly, who makes this stuff up?

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by Mark_Henry on Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:27 pm

Timeout wrote:All the conversation is so funny...of course the selectmen don't want the firemen there...Mark Henry, the firemen stood out in the hall when the crowd was at capacity...if you had been at all the meetings, you would know that. Honestly, who makes this stuff up?

The issue is one of being on the clock. I'm sure that off duty police and firemen are more than welcome at the town meetings. And yes, I have been at meetings where some of the on-duty firemen have stood in the hall. I've also been at several others where many citizens (myself included, since I am not a Rumford citizen) stood in the hallway and tried to listen while on-duty personnel sat inside.

I really don't care either way. It's not my meeting. I go (when I can) to learn more about decisions which affect the region. However, as I wrote earlier, other citizens complained to the town's manager that room was not available in the hall and that large numbers of on-duty personnel were taking up seats that could be made available to others.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by Timeout on Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:24 pm

Mark, not certain what your point is about the seating. Fortunately the seating capacity issue has been addressed. Perception is always a problem for people; it gets even more challenging when passed on through a third party. I am wondering about your commitment to the area when your post passes on gossip that does little to contribute to the conversation. As you say, you are a citizen of Roxbury. I too have stood out in the hall and it is difficult to hear...and I am a Rumford citizen. I'm happy that the problem has been resolved. As for being on the clock and attending meetings, I will leave it to the TM to discern whether his reports are present for a required purpose or not.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by KevinNSaisi on Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:58 pm

I agree that any citizen has the right to attend and participate in the meetings, however when you are on duty, you must follow the direction of your superiors. The firefighters state they to take a fire truck to do grocery shopping due to response time, but then discount and mock the response time issue when it doesn't suit them. A paid department needs to be at their post when they are called. Five minutes can make a big difference when "little jimmy" is on the third floor of a burning building.

As for their participation, it is a violation of basic ICS principles for them all to represent the department. If there is a management/operations issue, either the Chief or a designated deputy should speak. If it is a union issue, the designated union represenative should speak. Ganging up on the selectmen while in uniform is unprofessional and inappropriate. It has also been implied that having a number of members show up in uniform could be considered intimidating to board members. If our department weren't unionized, this may not be as much of an issue, but unions use psychological tactics to try and get the upper hand with management. This, I believe, is one of them. If I were chief, no firefighting logo would be worn off duty, and on duty personnel would be restricted to quarters, but I respect Gary's right to run the department as he sees fit.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by marktripp on Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:56 pm

Kevin,
You have got to be kidding me! You never cease to amaze me when it comes to you’re childish mind. It is not about ganging up on selectmen or protecting the "ecsessive overtime" it is about being able to go to meetings on duty, period. Since getting kicked out of the meeting the TM has invited us to meetings. This is really what happened, the night we where kicked out was one of the nights the selectmen where going to talk with Gary. Arthur and Frank where concerned that myself and Mr. Byam where going to voice our opinion and they did not want that. We stood very strong against a part-time Chief in a prior meeting, and addressed Mr. Boivin about being a retired full time Fire Chief himself, then him saying we don’t need a full time Chief. They did not want to have to answer questions from us or take the chance of any questions being raised. That is the bottom line! It’s just more of their backdoor politics.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by marktripp on Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:57 pm

Oh and to the best of my knowledge we thankfully don’t’ need to worry about you being Chief.

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by KevinNSaisi on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:07 pm

marktripp wrote:Oh and to the best of my knowledge we thankfully don’t’ need to worry about you being Chief.
Aw Mark, why are you trying to make it personal?? Laughing


Last edited by KevinNSaisi on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by KevinNSaisi on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:14 pm

marktripp wrote:Kevin,
You have got to be kidding me! You never cease to amaze me when it comes to you’re childish mind. It is not about ganging up on selectmen or protecting the "ecsessive overtime" it is about being able to go to meetings on duty, period. Since getting kicked out of the meeting the TM has invited us to meetings. This is really what happened, the night we where kicked out was one of the nights the selectmen where going to talk with Gary. Arthur and Frank where concerned that myself and Mr. Byam where going to voice our opinion and they did not want that. We stood very strong against a part-time Chief in a prior meeting, and addressed Mr. Boivin about being a retired full time Fire Chief himself, then him saying we don’t need a full time Chief. They did not want to have to answer questions from us or take the chance of any questions being raised. That is the bottom line! It’s just more of their backdoor politics.

"Childish"? what it so childish about analyzing the rationale and motives for actions? I know that there are some genius kids who could do that, but most cannot, so I don't understand the reference to being "childish".

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by C on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:17 pm

From things I've seen, anyone who contradicts the selectmen or calls them on their behavior would be discouraged from attending the meetings. I think the townspeople have a right to know where the FD and PD stand regarding town issues. I think a spokesperson from each department should be at every meeting. It seems somewhere I got the notion the town officials might be trying to discourage union membership. Is this unfounded? If not, did this tactic show up with Mr. Greaney?

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Re: Sneaking In Through The Back Door

Post by KevinNSaisi on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:23 pm

C wrote:From things I've seen, anyone who contradicts the selectmen or calls them on their behavior would be discouraged from attending the meetings. I think the townspeople have a right to know where the FD and PD stand regarding town issues. I think a spokesperson from each department should be at every meeting. It seems somewhere I got the notion the town officials might be trying to discourage union membership. Is this unfounded? If not, did this tactic show up with Mr. Greaney?

I haven't heard of any such discouragement. As for the meetings, I have suggested that the selectmen add an item on the agenda for reports from departments, committees, and commissions. I believe that these groups should provide monthly or quarterly reports to the board and citizens if they have met. Nobody should be discouraged from attending as a citizen. Town employees and volunteers should pass their thoughts and concerns through their department head using the chain of command.

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