To the Editor,
The Bridgewater Board of Finance recently sent a letter to the residents of the town.
Instead of apologizing to the residents for going against their wishes as voiced by an overwhelming vote at the May 25 town meeting, which was to reduce the treasurer's salary from $11,800 to $5,000, chairman Nancy Hawley and vice chairman Mike Reed scolded the residents of Bridgewater for coming to the town meeting and exercising their right to vote.
In their letter, Nancy Hawley and Mike Reed accused the selectmen of attempting to circumvent November's election.
The people of Bridgewater realize the town has to deal with Joe Caruso until he is out of office. I believe his expertise and experience were exaggerated by Ned Bandler, Nancy Hawley and the Republican town committee.
In addition, Ned Bandler, Nancy Hawley and the Republican town committee were all informed by Tom Seger and me that the job of treasurer had been changed.
The then unannounced candidate Mr. Caruso was in the room at the time. When he came into office, he never asked for help even though Mr. Bandler and Ms. Hawley stated he was refused help.
Mr. Bandler and Ms. Hawley stated at the town meeting the files were in terrible condition. The town has a report from the auditor that states the opposite.
For the two audits that took place while I was treasurer, by two different auditors, the town received the best ranking ever.
Let me clarify some misstatements Ms. Hawley and Mr. Reed made in their letter.
On February 9, 2010, Amy Allingham sent a letter of resignation to the selectmen that was to be effective March 2, 2010. Amy then took vacation time and left her job in the middle of February, never to return again.
Bills and salaries needed to be paid so the selectmen hired Kim Baron to keep the books until a new treasurer could be appointed March 2, 2010.
On March 2, 2010, no one else was interested in the job and I was appointed. Kim and I were paid by the hour, not by salary.
The $5,000 figure was not a salary. It was the average I made in a year during the 19 months as treasurer.
The Board of Finance was made aware of this every step of the way as chronicled in the minutes of its meetings.
Ms. Hawley stated publicly on more than one occasion she didn't know how Kim and I were paid, yet she was on the board at the time.
She wrote the minutes and made the motions that dealt with the money in the treasurer's department. It is all documented.
Ms. Hawley and Mr. Reed brought up my other jobs in town hall which include managing four departments. I am not sure what my 15 years of experience has to do with the salary of the present treasurer.
My current benefits are $10,681.56, not $20,000 as stated in their letter.
As Ms. Hawley has stated many times, the duties of the treasurer are defined by statute. The duties are very limited.
Our treasurer spends less than three hours a week in the office.