One possible side effect of the addition of chloramines to the Southbridge water supply warrants investigating. While I know of no research supporting the conclusion, casual observation of events in town inclines me to believe that they may lead to the long term loss of short term memory.
Case in point; it’s my understanding that when someone is given an interim appointment, it is pending the hiring of a permanent employee for the position in question.
Back in the middle of February Walter Bird was hired as the interim Recreation Director. That was almost six months ago. It didn’t take us six months to hire a new fire chief.
In those six months I don’t recall seeing the position advertised for a permanent Recreation Director.
What brought this all to mind again was a Letter to The Editor in last Friday’s Southbridge Evening News.
Again, notice that the letter is signed as “Interim Southbridge Recreation Director. Just how long is this going to continue with the “Interim Southbridge Recreation Director” getting an annual stipend of about $8,000.
Another point I raised when I first wrote about this at the end of March was the bylaw relating to this position.
Mr. Bird was first relieved of this post because the enabling bylaw required that the Recreation Director had to be a town resident. This was attested to in a letter from town manager Christopher Clark at the time.
However, when Mr. Bird, who still resides in another community, was re-hired for this post I found that the current town bylaws read as follows:
“Section 3-215 Recreation Committee
To date I have found no record that this bylaw was properly changed nor has anyone been able to provide me with such a record.
Frankly, I have gotten to the point where I don’t think anything will be done about this. The town Charter and bylaws as well as issues of proper procedure have come to be regarded as inconveniences to be ignored by the town manager and a majority of the town council. So, too, by a majority of the voters. Apparently the old adage about a government of laws and not of men has become passé. I can only continue to document these lapses in the hope that, in time, they will gain some measure of relevance.