ROLE OF THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN:
The Board is responsible for policy development, review for compliance. The Board works with the Town Administrator on policy formulation.
The Board is responsible for supervising all departments of the general government other than school organizations of the town and the region. This responsibility is delegated to the Town Administrator and the Board will refrain from involvement in day to day operations. Concerns and questions about operation of departments, and suggestions for improvements should be addressed to the Town Administrator. The responsibility for addressing these issues is thus carried out through the Town Administrator. Selectmen may be called upon to resolve disputes that are unable to be resolved on the staff level. The Selectmen may follow up on concerns or issues addressing these approved policies.
REMOTE PARTICIPATION; As previously voted by the BOS, remote participation will follow the guidance presented within the Open Meeting Law Guide from the Attorney General. Reasons for remote participation are personal illness, personal disability, emergencies, military service or geographical distance such as private sector employment situations.
ROLE OF THE TOWN ADMINISTRATOR:The Board appoints a Town Administrator who functions as the Town’s Chief Administrative Officer. The primary duties of the Town Administrator shall be the day-to-day administration of the general government as outlined in the position’s job description. The Town Administrator shall also assist and work under the direction of the Selectmen in the formulation of policy. The Town Administrator must maintain a close working relationship with all members of the Board. He/she shall regularly brief the Board on all important issues.
As a selectmen, one of the things I did was to put together/gather the information that eventually became the local written policy or guidance for the Board of Selectmen. This policy was brought to the selectmen by a selectmen, it was discussed by the selectmen and was voted on and accepted by selectmen. It did not go to town meeting, it did not go to the Advisory Committee, it did not go to the planning board. The policies and procedures for selectmen was handled completely by selectmen. Now if the current selectmen would read those pages and follow them or change them, perhaps there would be no more criticism of the selectmen for failing to follow their own procedures. GTH (get the hint), follow the policy that was adopted by the Board of Selectmen, have some respect for the office and set the example, especially if you as a sitting selectmen are going to write, vote and enact other policies that you, a selectmen, will expect others to follow.
There is a policy and procedure document in place, created and voted on by selectmen, for selectmen for guidance, that did not end simply with another election cycle. One of the items in that policy has to do with the agenda is a Town Administrator report. The agenda is the responsibility of the chairman. With that item regularly missing from the agenda and with it still being within the policy and procedure document for the selectmen, it is possible for the criticism of the selectmen for failing to follow their own policies even as they move on with writing more policies that they presumably expect others to follow.
posted by Jeff Bennett