To the Editor:
Berlin has limped along without a professional town manager since the Republican Council members fired the manager. It appears that our mayor and his cronies are not seriously seeking a suitable replacement. A mere posting on the town’s website and a want ad in a local newspaper have not attracted any suitable candidates!
According to the mayor, the interim manager and four others responded, two of whom withdrew before any interviews were done. A very poor result. West Hartford had more than 50 responses to its recent manager search request.
The lack of professionalism in Berlin’s search process and the ongoing departure of Berlin’s key town employees continue to prevent success in securing the best-qualified candidates.
Last week police Chief Paul Fitzgerald joined the exodus. The Republican majority refuses to address the chronic deteriorating conditions of the existing police station. The majority refused to let us vote at a referendum on a new police station!
Last fall, the very competent finance director accepted a similar position in Bloomfield. Last winter, the Republican majority, for no valid reason, fired our dedicated town manager, Denise McNair. We are continuing to pay her salary and benefits.
The professional tax collector was forced to leave and has taken a position with the town of Fairfield. We are still without a tax collector! Our purchasing director also bailed out and is employed by the town of Manchester.
It’s no wonder why there is no interest by professional managers in our town. Berlin no longer enjoys a good reputation for professional municipal employees. The current Republican leadership does nothing to repair the damage it has done, nor does it seem to care.
It is past time for the council to fulfill its obligation to secure a qualified town manager. The engagement of a professional search firm should be the first step.
Stephen J. Anderson