Yesterday the town council again voted to put off naming a new town manager and instead extended the current manager’s contract to the end of June 2022.

The current manager, Mary McNally, abruptly resigned from the position late last year.  She announced her resignation in a scathing letter that was read to the council.  The letter states, in part,

The reasons for my decision can be summed up in one sentence. The complete lack of a modicum of professional courtesy, the insidious negativity and suspicion, the continuous pattern of overreaching by a particular councilor into matters which the charter clearly identifies as the responsibility of the manager and disingenuous communication and misrepresentation of facts to other councilors have created a work environment which I find intolerable.

At that time, McNally threatened to leave her position in December 2021.  Yet, despite the “intolerable” and “toxic” environment she complained about in her resignation letter, McNally has repeatedly agreed to continue her job with the town.

The trend continued last night when McNally again agreed to stay on as town manager–this time until the end of her original contract.

The council has been actively seeking a new town manager and a large field of candidates has been narrowed down to just three finalists.  The purpose of last night’s meeting was to formally appoint a new manager from the final three candidates.

Nevertheless, the council once again avoided making a decision and simply voted to keep Ms. McNally on board until June 30. 

Just one councilor, Connor O’Shea, voted against the idea.  His comments were as follows:

I am concerned that [extending McNally’s contract] would throw our whole finalist process into the air and I think we would have to start all over again.  I don’t think that would be fair to the three finalists to make them wait another five or so months before we either make a permanent decision or to keep that person that we pick in limbo….I was ready to vote on Saturday and I think that that’s what this council should do.

When addressing the other councilors’ concern that a new town manager wouldn’t be able to effectively handle some of the town’s outstanding issues, O’Shea said

I also think that if some of these matters have been outstanding for well over a year, I don’t know that they’re going to be resolved by the time June or July rolls around.

He concluded,

I don’t think it really inspires a lot of confidence in our next town manager pick if we don’t even afford them the opportunity to tackle [the town’s existing problems] with a fresh perspective.

Despite O’Shea’s comments, the councilors voted to extend McNally’s contract while keeping the three finalist in a state of uncertainty.