Rockingham committee to review municipal manager's evaluation form

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Rockingham — After several recent discussions back and forth about the municipal manager's performance over the last several years, the joint board has decided to revisit and remodel the manager's evaluation form.

The Rockingham Select Board and Bellows Falls Village Board of Trustees came to last Tuesday's meeting with a packet of manager evaluation forms from other municipalities. Trustee Colin James said he does like the current form used, and several other members at the table nodded their heads in agreement. Municipal Manager Willis "Chip" Stearns spoke up, suggesting that a committee be formed, consisting of Select Board members and trustees, to review the other towns' evaluations and come back to the boards with a suggested new form.

The boards compiled other evaluations from towns such as Woodstock and St. Johnsbury and each member was given a "Manager Evaluations Handbook," which Trustee Chairman Myles Mickle said was helpful.

Despite the materials provided to the members, Bellows Falls resident and former trustee Deborah Wright questioned if any board members have had experience in evaluating personnel, and she piggybacked off an idea mentioned by Trustee/Select Board member Stefan Golec.

"Perhaps you should consider finding someone in the community who could give you that additional focal point, the fifth person," said Wright.

She suggested looking into a person from one of the larger businesses in town, perhaps Chroma. Select Board member Ann DiBernardo concurred with Wright's statement, whereas Select Board Chairman Monte Barnett said he felt most of the board members had experience evaluating the manager.

The boards voted to appoint Peter Golec and Joshua Hearne from the Select Board and Steve Adams and James from the Trustees as the committee to review the criteria for evaluating the manager and develop an appropriate form. The committee will meet on Monday, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m.

In other business at Tuesday's meeting:

The Select Board voted to go forth with a three-year Landscape Maintenance Contract with E. Clark Landscaping – January 2017 through December 2019 – for the town-owned parks for a total cost of $7,605.00 per year. Stearns noted that there are five parks within the municipality – four are town owned (Centennial Park, Recreation Center, Waypoint Center and Wells Street Playground) and one is village owned (Hetty Green). Then the trustees voted that the three-year landscape maintenance contract for the Hetty Green Park be awarded to E. Clark Landscaping at a cost of $1,610.00 per year.

Stearns informed the board that parking enforcement had commenced starting on Monday, Aug. 30. He said it will be village-wide and will include all parking throughout the village and not just the business area. Stearns reported that seven tickets were issued last Monday and 20 were issued on Tuesday.

Bridge Street bridge construction began Friday, Sept. 2, and will take eight to 10 weeks. Stearns also noted that individuals parking at the post office will not be able to make a U-turn just before the bridge and will most likely be routed via Island Street.

James noted that the outpouring of support for the Justin Beebe family was incredible and that he is proud to live in this community. Beebe was a local man, 26 years old, who died in mid-August while battling a fire in Nevada.

Maddi Shaw can be reached at 802-254-2311 ext 275


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