Selectmen’s Squabbles and the Process

HICKEY: Let’s put politics aside
Manager search criticized (Foxboro Reporter)
Foxboro process criticized (The Sun Chronicle)

Where to start? Since there was no continuous solid 3-2 voting block on last year’s board and open voting records, any attempt at rewriting history will always fail.

All Selectmen can play politics-Mortenson, Walsh, Brue, Harrington, and DeVellis-each and every one of them. Mortenson’s comment to Walsh about ‘her homework’ may have been rude, but was it unwarranted or untrue? Apparently, many think not. Was it politically motivated? Maybe, but in the interest of doing the right thing in hiring the next town manager, it seems a fair conclusion to the chairwoman’s statement. He just said it out loud. He too must have a crystal ball or mind-reading skills if he knows Harrington wanted “anyone but Scollins”, unless that was said in a meeting. Yes-Mortenson must also be playing to his own constituency, as does each of the 5 member board. They continually tell us that they hear from lots of people and they don’t hear from the same groups of people. This is reassuring as it means many voices are being heard from and their opinions considered by the 5 sitting at the table.

She noted that the six-member search committee set no deadline for the submission of applications, that selectmen gave Paicos a half-hour longer interview than Scollins, and that selectmen asked no questions about how the candidates would relate to the most powerful business in town — the Kraft Group.

Well, that question is answered-no application deadline. The questions asked of each candidate were the same. Is it a big deal if one candidate took longer to answer than the other? first glance says no. I hope each candidate would treat all businesses the same, regardless of how much they add to the tax rolls.

“…..Is it all about the politics? What some selectmen are doing now is just plain mean.”

Doesn’t seem mean to me. Seems like two are trying to further legitimize the process and also get answers to their own lingering questions by verifying information. Brue voted for Paicos on the condition that all checks out to her satisfaction-doesn’t appear outside the realm of good hiring practices. Mortenson voted against, but did request the same in-depth checks for Scollins and Paicos.

If a member of the Search Committee is concerned about the process and more, maybe, just maybe, there is something to be concerned about.

In the ‘playing politics’ sphere, we should not forget about columns, letters, citizen’s input, ads, letters and all others from people such as present and past selectmen, Senators, and Representatives, town committee members-appointed and elected, and town political party committee members! Feeney and Hickey…don’t forget about others such as LaChapelle, Forster, Masison, Sullivan, Coppola, Delaney etc. Brue, Harrington, Mortenson have all written columns or letters too.

“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.”
Mahatma Gandhi


“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
George S. Patton


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