Should really Williamstown’s following town manager reside in city? The reply is no, in accordance to the Decide on Board, which signed a deal with Robert Menicocci — who lives in Bennington, Vt. — to direct Williamstown’s govt starting up July 1.
The marathon city manager research is in excess of: The Decide on Board ratified the contract with Robert Menicocci, currently employed as agency director of the Santa Clara County Social Expert services Agency in San Jose, a place he has held because 2015.
But not as “town manager.” That would be illegal.
To make it lawful, the Find Board has to get approval of Williamstown’s voters to modify a condition law which, considering that at the very least 1956, calls for “that the town supervisor shall be a resident of the city through the time period of his office environment.”
That language is component of the 1956 condition regulation that recognized Williamstown’s “town manager/selectman” sort of governance. It also calls for a confirming vote of the entire Massachusetts Legislature to be amended and adjusted. City voters must approve by using a ballot vote at a city election. So the usual sequence would be:
The town’s voters approve on a local election ballot a proposed modification to the 1956 Town Charter, which is a point out regulation.
Then, the Legislature is asked to also approve the amendment.
Article 30 on the Williamstown yearly city conference warrant, to be regarded as on June 14, seems to start out that process by inquiring the Legislature to approve deleting the residency requirement from the town constitution. It seems the town’s voters will then have to vote at the subsequent Town Election — in 2023 — to ratify the Legislature’s action right before it usually takes effect. So for all that time it seems Menicocci will be, lawfully, “Temporary Town Manager” — unless of course he results in being a Williamstown resident.
Why is this required? For the reason that the deal signed by Select Board member Andy Hogeland for the city on April 26, and by Robert Menicocci the next working day, would hire Menicocci on July 1 at a $155,000 yearly salary, but as “interim town supervisor.”
The word “interim” is vital for two reasons. First, he simply cannot serve as “town manager” unless he lives in Williamstown, below the City Constitution, so the deal provides the word “interim.” On the other hand, point out law only mentions the chance of the Decide on Board appointing a “temporary city manager” between appointments of a full “town manager.” The law tends to make no mention of the globe “interim.”
The contract claims the Pick Board determined to make use of Menicocci for a calendar year as of July 1 “pending the over proposed constitution revisions and, if and when the constitution revisions are helpful, to hire the supervisor as the Town Manager.”
Menicocci’s deal offers that if he is fired by the Pick out Board at any time through the 1-year agreement, he will be immediately entitled to half-a-year’s severance pay out — $77,500.
The whole arrangement would be unwanted if Menicocci ended up to grow to be a authorized resident of Williamstown as of July 1. But instead of demanding that as a condition of employment, the Pick Board has agreed not only to agreement with him as “interim” town supervisor but also to check with voters to abolish the residency requirement so they can retain the services of him complete-time.
That would also be unneeded if Menicocci had any intention of getting a town resident.
Menicocci, in the April 3 “meet the public” session before his using the services of, emphasized his do the job experience in fairly senior roles in human products and services in both Eastern Massachusetts and California.
He spoke about his want to depart California simply because of its fire and water environmental issues, and acknowledged that he and his spouse had bought a $1.7 million six-bedroom, five-bathtub house on 382 acres on Pleasant Valley Road in Bennington, Vt.
A lookup of the internet demonstrates that bios of Menicocci do not explain any experience running a municipality. His work cited is in social justice, social welfare and economic management at the point out or county concentrations. In 2015, a government-transparency nonprofit published his then-once-a-year salary and positive aspects at $289,000.
The Williamstown Town Supervisor Search Screening Committee has announced the selection of two finalists for the placement of city supervisor.
The Pick out Board chose Menicocci, 56, above one particular other finalist, Alex Torpey, amongst a selection of applicants in the most current research to switch former Town Supervisor Jason Hoch. Torpey, the other finalist, an adjunct professor, had many years of experience in leadership of at least two municipalities in New Jersey.
On the 1 hand, it is impressive that Williamstown attracted a Massachusetts native back from the West Coastline at half his 2015 Santa Clara County income to operate a little-city federal government. For a Californian, a targeted visitors-totally free 27-moment commute to do the job may perhaps come to feel deluxe.
On the other hand, it could be 27 extensive minutes in an emergency reaction scenario. There should have been some rationale why Williamstown voters in 1956 made a decision our city supervisor really should reside in town.
Some other Berkshire cities, such as Sandisfield, may well have misplaced managers mainly because of housing charges, and may well have dropped residency specifications to cope. The problem is worthy of debating. But why must voters be asked to make that improve immediately after-the-actuality of employing somebody who does not meet up with the prerequisite, and for whom the city will have to pay back a $77,500 termination price if voters don’t accept that improve? And if dropping the residency prerequisite is OK’d by both town voters and the Legislature, should not the city then re-advertise the long lasting town manager job to what would without doubt be a greater pool of fascinated candidates?
There’s a larger sized problem posed by this contract: If we just cannot bring in a experienced prospect to be a $155,000-a-calendar year long term city supervisor — who finds it convenient or economically feasible to are living in city — what does it say about our inventory of cost-effective housing for people of regular usually means?
Monthly bill Densmore, a career journalist, has lived in Williamstown because 1983 and formerly co-released The Advocate newsweekly.