News, Public Notice

Officials move toward amendment to make it hard to fire a town manager

by Geoff Fox

While Mike Faith’s job is safe, town officials have voted to amend the town’ s charter in how to handle the termination of the town manager position should the need arise.

According to the town charter, the term of a town manager is indefinite and serves at the pleasure of the mayor.

This was amended in 2014 from “the pleasure of the mayor and council” to the current wording.

Mayor Town Mayor Tim Smith said right now, should town officials bring up the matter of terminating the town manager, it would require a 3/5 vote.

Smith said he wanted to know if officials would want to change the vote to 4/5 vote.

Councilman David Kerns said most municipals use a “super majority” when it comes to these types of decisions.

Town Attorney Ed Kuczynski said with Hancock, the mayor has the power to vote, not just in breaking ties.

He added most towns have a 4/5 vote for such a matter such as termination of a town manager or treasurer.

Kuczynski said if the matter came up, the mayor

would bring the reasoning for the termination of the town manager to council members and call for a vote for termination.

Kuczynski said he would have to write up the paperwork for the amendment. He wasn’ t sure if there would be a point to get the public hearing, but it would be advertised.

Councilman Roland Lanehart said the amendment wouldn’ t have to be done right away.

He then made a motion to pass the amendment, changing the vote from 3/5 vote to 4/5 vote to terminate any Hancock town manager.

The vote passed unanimously.

Kerns asked Kuczynski to make sure the terminology included other chartered positions in the town.

Trash service

In other business, Hancock officials said on the first of October, the town’ s cost of getting trash service increased by 15%.

Smith said the town isn’ t under a contract with the trash company and because of that, it’s time to look into putting the contract out to bid.

The town pays the landfill tipping fees, officials said.

Kuczynski said he’ d prepare the request for proposal

for a new trash and recycling contract.

Town officials said the contract would not include bulk pick up or yard waste as town crews take care of those.

New vehicle for manager

The town manager is getting a new vehicle and it’ s not going to be a pick-up truck. The pick-up used by former town managers has been taken out of that service and turned over to Public Works.

Smith said they’ d been looking around for a new vehicle but nothing was found. However, there was one found with 53,000 miles on it for $12,800.

The vehicle Faith will be driving is an all wheel drive 2014 Ford Escape.

Kerns said at the price Smith gave, in comparison to what car prices are currently going at, “it’ s a no brainer” in buying the vehicle.

The vehicle is something the town has needed since hiring Faith as the town manager, Kerns said.

Smith said once the Escape is purchased, it would be painted to match the town’s fleet of vehicles.

Officials passed the purchase 3-0. Councilman Lanehart abstained from the vote.