The agenda for the January 6th meeting of the General Government subcommittee contained the following item:
2. Review/discuss Town Manager Evaluation form
At the January 11th meeting of the Town Council, Councilor Carrasco announced that he had minutes for the subcommittee meeting. However, he was still typing them up and they would be reported at a later meeting.
At the January 27th meeting of the Town Council Councilor Clemence had apparently assumed the chairmanship of General Government in light of Mr. Carrasco’s accession to Council Chair. She reported that she had no minutes and no meeting scheduled.
Let me ask the reading audience, “Do you remember the last time a Town Council reported an evaluation of the Town Manager?” I can’t.
The hiring of a Manager ranks as the primary responsibility of the Council. Hand in hand with that is, of necessity, their oversight of his tenure.
But, without any kind of review mechanism, how much oversight is there?
The Council has already managed to accede to a “no tax increase” increase in taxes through a revaluation process that has increased homeowner property taxes by eight to ten percent despite a decline in the tax rate. It seems to me that there has been precious little questioning of that coupled with little, if any, information about whether the tax bills of other classes of property owners experienced a commensurate decline.
In addition, there has been no discussion of any further effort to constrain any kind of tax increase in the next budget.
All of this has happened while the public has been preoccupied with the drama surrounding our schools.
Regrettably, the fact is that we have surrendered the control of our schools to the state.
Let’s allow that to work itself out.
But let us not neglect paying attention to the balance of our town government over which we still can exercise direct control.
We need to push our Town Council to address the issues of Town Manager performance evaluation and property taxes.