Saturday, June 30, 2012

Town administrator offers resignation

Should we be so lucky ...

By / Monitor staff

Hillsboro's town administrator offered his resignation yesterday, two days after the selectmen met with him about a private investigation of his job performance.
The selectmen hired an attorney in March to investigate Town Administrator John Stetser, in response to a request made by four female town employees. The investigation was complete last week, Selectman Russell Galpin said, and the selectmen talked about it in two separate nonpublic meetings with their attorney and Stetser on Tuesday.
Both Stetser and the selectmen declined to say yesterday whether the resignation was a direct result of the investigation.
"I don't know what (Stetser) said, but that's my belief that it would have been very difficult for him after the investigation," Galpin said.
Stetser, who has been Hillsboro's town administrator since 2008, said he announced his resignation yesterday morning at a Hillsboro Economic Development Commission meeting. He left a copy of his resignation letter for the selectmen at the town offices yesterday afternoon, he said.
The selectmen have not yet accepted Stetser's resignation, Galpin said. They will meet to discuss it Tuesday, and Galpin said he hopes they will vote to accept it.
Stetser said his resignation would be effective Aug. 30, but yesterday was his last day of work. He will be taking vacation days until then, he said.
Michael Donovan, the town's attorney, and an attorney representing Stetser are negotiating a separation agreement, Galpin said. He said the selectmen and Stetser discussed a resignation and separation agreement Tuesday night.
"We were pretty much on the same page," Galpin said. "He's not asking for a lot and we're not offering a lot. We're just trying to be reasonable about the whole thing."
The independent investigation of Stetser, conducted by Concord attorney Emily Rice, began in March. Four female town employees requested a review of his "job performance including his interaction with employees and elected officials" in a letter to the selectmen. They did not list specific complaints against him.
Residents and employees began raising complaints about Stetser at selectmen's meetings since January. When Stetser asked about the nature of the complaints at a February meeting, Venezia told him it involved "sexual harassment generally, I believe," according to meeting minutes.
Galpin told the Monitor in March that no formal allegations of sexual harassment had been made against Stetser, but the selectmen had verbal, third-party reports of it. They also received complaints about Stetser's handling of personnel situations, he said.
Galpin said yesterday afternoon that he had not yet read Stetser's resignation letter, but "it's a relief to have it over with." The investigation has been controversial in Hillsboro, he said.
"So there is going to be strong feelings about it, undoubtedly," Galpin said. "But we'll weather through that sort of thing."


Anonymous said...

Congratulations John, guess its true again," what goes around comes around." If Hillsboro needs some more quality employees we can supply them.

Anonymous said...

How about some facts the selectmen got their own way in court and your taxes will increase this year thanks to the new budget committee OK-ing it to the judge.

Anonymous said...

2:06 PM, not hard to figure out, the Winchester selectmen don't give a S--- what you think or if you can afford to stay in town or not, and neither did John when he ran this town.

nobody gives a rat's a$$ said...

These local town turds look just like the turds in Washington. The coruption speading the wealth around in Winchester is the same in Washington just on a smaller scale.

They want to spread the wealth around. Take from you and give to them. Nothing will change here in Winchester and in Washington.

Anonymous said...

All the more reason to start cleaning it up at the local level -- where a dozen committed individuals could make a difference. We need better people running for office, and we need to support the good ones when they get into office. Unfortunately, this is a town fueled by lies and hatred.

It seems like the whole world runs on what somebody "said." Demand proof before you believe what is said, even if it's about someone you don't like.

Anonymous said...

July 3, 2012 11:17 AM
In a way you are correct But as of yet we haven't had 1 single decent candidate run for selectboard. Sadly we need someone to move into town and run because the pool of candidates that have run for selectboard in the past is a joke!
Gus's term is up in 2013 he is the weakest one, I'm afraid jokers like Gordon Or Moser will think they have a chance and run, then we will really be in big trouble.

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought. If you think Gordon, Moser et al. are jokers, why don't you decloak, tell us what you would do and run yourself? Too busy with your own pathetic life? Can't be bothered to learn the laws restraining local government? Just prefer to complain about everyone else, and blame them for your circumstances? Too afraid of retaliation?

Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Settle down 11:42. Why so hostile? Why don't you decloak? Your vocab really gives away your age.

Carl said...

To 11:17am July 3rd ..

It's not the candidates who run for office that is the joke in Winchester, it's the uninformed, and in some cases the uneducated individuals like yourself who have judged certain previous candidates by whatever street gossip they have picked up or by the "official" word coming out of town hall regarding them and their qualifications. Mr. Moser has and would probably make a better selectman than those we have on the board today, at least he's an honest and up front person. Ms. Gordon as far as I know has never run for that position so I don't know why you brought up her name; but I don't see why she wouldn't fit the bill as someone who follows the law and has a conscience. There was another fellow who ran a couple of times who had taken the town to court over violations of regulations and won, seems he knows his stuff too and there have been others in the past who have stood up to our town bullies and ran against them; but idiots like you voted for the incumbents and thus we have the same issues plaguing us year after year. Wasn't long ago we had an unbiased chance to meet and greet new candidates; but that all changed and there never was any turn out. It's apathy, cronyism and lack of knowledge that keeps this town in the dark and to the person above commenting on age, I'm 71 and have been a resident here all my life. What in hell does age have to do with anything you idiot?

Warm and Fuzzy said...

I think that some people run for office with the idea of fairness and making a change and then that warm fuzzy feeling takes over when you get your butt kissed every time you walk through the town hall doors. Employees vs Taxpayers, the Taxpayer loses every time.