The Hanover Board of Selectmen recently voted not to negotiate a new contract with Town Manager Troy B.G. Clarkson when it expires next April.
The vote was 3-2, with Brian Barthelmes, Jocelyn Keegan, and Emmanuel Dockter voting in favor and board chairman David R. Delaney and vice chairman John Tuzik opposed, according to Delaney.
Clarkson has been town manager in Hanover since April 2012 after previously serving as Bridgewater’s town manager for just over two years.
Delaney said that following the terms of his contract, Clarkson notified the board about a month ago that he wished to enter into negotiations for a new contract. Delaney said that on advise of town counsel, the three board members voting not to negotiate a contract renewal did not comment at the meeting on their reasons.
Delaney called the board action “disappointing and perplexing,” noting that Clarkson “appeared to me to be doing an admirable job” and that at the meeting, many residents, business people, and town employees and departments heads spoke in favor of retaining Clarkson.
Delaney said he and Tuzik are “looking forward to the guidance of the other board members as to how we move forward from here.”
Dockter, who made the motion, said in an interview later that “I feel it is not in the best interest of the town or the town manager to make negative comments about him, and I don’t feel it would be professional of me or respectful of the town manager for me to do so. I certainly wish him all the best, and I’m focused on the process going forward.”
Dockter said he was “confident about the town and our stability. The town manager is here through April of next year, we have a professional in our assistant town manager, Tony Marino,” and department heads and unions are all under long-term contracts.
He said the board would begin discussions at its next meeting on Sept. 18 on “how to move the process forward.”
In a statement, Clarkson said he was “profoundly grateful for the overwhelming support shown by the community” at the selectmen’s meeting.
“The feedback on the progress, the accomplishments, and the sense of teamwork we have created together was one of the highlights of my career,” he said. “I came to Hanover wanting nothing more than to make a positive difference. It is clear that, together, we have done that. It will continue to be my honor to work with an amazing and diverse team of department heads, employees, and citizen volunteers for my remaining time in Hanover.”