Seekonk Selectmen's Behavior Is Despicable
The board should not meet in secret to select a police chief.
The Jan. 11 issue of The Sun Chronicle reported the Seekonk Selectmen met in executive session last Wednesday and chose a new permanent police chief without advertising the opening, searching for other qualified candidates or seeking community involvement.
What is the damn hurry to choose a new chief? Past practice has always been to appoint an interim police chief until a search committee could be selected and dozens of candidates could be interviewed. Seekonk has previously sought assistance from the Massachusetts Municipal Association, advertised in professional journals and used head hunters to select the best qualified individual.
Pamela Nolan, Seekonk's town administrator, has done our entire community a significant disservice by not following long-established protocol. It appears she is more concerned with getting an employment contract extension by complying with the Board of Selectmen's wishes.
The Sun Chronicle quotes Selectman Robert McClintock as saying, "I do think the process should have been handled a little differently than the way it was." The lack of open transparency causes all citizens to lose trust in our elected officials. The backroom type of political wheeling and dealing is despicable behavior. The selectmen took an oath to act in a professional, ethical manner when sworn into office. Let the taxpayers decide if they have honored their sacred promise.
Maybe the community should be permitted to comment and review all police chief candidates? Nothing is more important than public safety. I suggest the selectmen repeal their vote to hire someone in secret. Is this how American democracy should work?
Have the guts to do it in an open meeting and in a public session rather than hide behind closed doors and press releases.
Four candidates have announced their intention to run for a selectmen's seat in the April election. Let's hear what they say about this sneaky, sleazy political appointment. We all want good government and need to raise our voices loudly when something doesn't smell right!