Selectmen Postpone Discussion About Town Administrator Thomas Guerino's Contract
By: Michael J. Rausch
Selectmen this week postponed a planned discussion about Town Administrator Thomas M. Guerino’s contract, at Mr. Guerino’s request.
Mr. Guerino asked that the board defer discussion on his contract until a later date. “I have some people I need to talk to first,” Mr. Guerino explained. When asked to elaborate, Mr. Guerino politely declined.
At last week’s meeting, board Chairman Donald J. Pickard asked Mr. Guerino to put discussion of his own contract on this week’s agenda. Mr. Pickard said the board needed to discuss what its wishes are in relation to Mr. Guerino’s contract.
Mr. Pickard outlined three possible options. One would be to negotiate an extension to Mr. Guerino’s current one-year contract, which expires on June 30 of this year. A second would be to negotiate a new contract for a period of two or more years. A third option, Mr. Pickard suggested, would be a decision not to renew the administrator’s contract. If the board were to select the third option, it would then have to decide when to start advertising the newly vacated position.
Mr. Pickard said discussion should begin as soon as possible.
The issue of the contract came on the heels of a question about the administrator’s salary during a joint meeting with the finance committee. Several town hall departmental budgets were discussed during that meeting, which prompted the question of Mr. Guerino’s salary.
Mr. Pickard’s comments also came after selectmen received a letter of support for Mr. Guerino from Jonathan Bourne Public Library Director Patrick W. Marshall. Mr. Marshall wrote that rumors and gossip run rampant in towns the size of Bourne, and he had started to hear a number of comments as to the likelihood of Mr. Guerino not being kept on as administrator.
In his letter, Mr. Marshall wrote that he has served under seven administrators during his career and thinks Mr. Guerino is serving Bourne well.
This week, finance committee members Elinor Ripley and Mary Jane Mastrangelo also wrote letters to the selectmen in support of Mr. Guerino. Ms. Mastrangelo wrote that there were significant financial issues in the town when Mr. Guerino began his tenure. “We now have strong reserves and a budget process that follows the financial policy,” she wrote.
Discussion of the administrator’s contract was deferred until at least February 21.
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