Police chief search committee set into action

Selectmen met last night with the newly-formed police chief search committee to formally kick off the search process. The committee will review all applicants and recommend finalists to selectmen who will make the final hiring decision.

“We know you will take your responsibilities in interviewing candidates seriously, and that you will make a fair decision,” Chairman Sal Giorlandino told the committee.

Addressing the controversy
The board’s earlier decision to make Chief Moran an automatic finalist “was not meant to pressure the committee in any way regarding what your recommendations should be,” Giorlandino told committee members. “If you decide after evaluating (the candidates) that she shouldn’t be part of the mix, that’s your call.”

Giorlandino acknowledged the debate taking place on this blog about the search process. “I appreciate people being involved in their community and expressing their opinions,” he said. “What I don’t appreciate is people using the blog MySouthborough.com to spread mis-information.”

In particular, Giorlandino took exception to comments on the blog that the committee was not qualified. He pointed out that committee member John Rooney has a criminal law background and has prosecuted “hundreds” of cases as an assistant district attorney. Giorlandino called the committee “a distinguished group of individuals.”

The search process
A job description approved by selectmen last night will be posted most likely later this week. The search committee’s first meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, July 1. Their first order of business will be to elect a chairperson.

Selectmen asked the committee to be prepared to recommend “in the neighborhood of five” finalists and to complete their work within the next three months.

Selectmen encouraged the committee to talk with current members of the police force to get some background on the department.  Giorlandino suggested touring the police station to “see the physical space the police work in and the chief manages.”

Selectman Bill Boland also encouraged the committee to seek the perspective of current and former chiefs in surrounding towns of similar size to Southborough.

Open meetings
Town Counsel Aldo Cipriano informed the committee that their meetings are subject to the state’s open meeting law, meaning they need to keep minutes and post meetings at least 48 hours in advance.

The list of candidates will be kept confidential, and all discussion about candidates will be done in executive session and will not be open to the public. The list of finalists presented to selectmen will be publicly announced.

(For the latest on Southborough’s search for a new police chief, click here.)

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John
15 years ago

A “thumbs-up” to the committee. They have their charge, and their work will be important. And kudos to Sal G. for sticking to the objectives of the Board of Selectmen. The committee is diverse, and I am sure is quite capable.

William
15 years ago

Is Sal G the same guy who initiated the “automatic finalist” policy and yet cautioned the committee members on being neutral?

I am a private sector IT manager. Is this how all public hiring is done?

Louie
15 years ago

Sal, Can you explain to the town how someone who has filed numerous lawsuits against the town get an “automatic in” , or is that not considered past performance

Paul
15 years ago

I too work in the private sector and have interviewed and hired several dozen people over the years. I have also promoted from within when we had a qualified candidate including some who had been in an “acting” position.

This is the craziest hiring process I have ever seen! It makes no sense at all.

The selectmen had an opportunity to evaluate Sgt Moran over the past 9 months when she was the acting Chief. That’s more than ample time to make an evaluation. She should either be promoted or she should not. Yes or no. Its that simple.

This debacle really makes me question the decision making abililty of the selectmen. This issue has received quite a bit of publicity. What kinds of decisons do they make that don’t receive this kind of attention. I shudder to even think of who they spend our tax dollars.

Peter
15 years ago

I have enjoyed sitting on the sidelines and watching the sparks fly to and fro!

I do feel the need to comment on Mr. Giorlandino “taking exception” to a blog comment re the committee makeup vis-a-vis the absence of members with a law enforcement background despite the canadicy of two such persons, each with more than twenty years of law enforcement experience.

If this interview process was geared towards hiring the director of a hospital, it would be unthinkable not to have a nurse or doctor on the interview committee.

I know and respect John Rooney. He is a fine choice for the committee. But, as a fellow attorney, Mr. Giorlandino should certainly understand that John’s experience as an assistant district attorney is quite a bit different than being a law enforcement officer. The board of selectmen should have appointed someone with law enforcement experience along with John Rooney.

Because of the reckless mandate that Sgt. Jane Moran be an automatic finalist, it is absurd to postulate that this will not adversely impact the quality and depth of applicants.

Sgt. Moran was selected to be the Acting Chief simply because she was the Sgt. with the most seniority. I would love to hear Mr. Giorlandino explain how he equates seniority with competence.

The first sad aspect of this soap opera is that when Sgt. Jane Moran is appointed Chief, her appointment will be crippled by the suspicion that she was selected because of her gender rather than her competence. That is unfair to Sgt. Moran and it is unfair to the town of Southborough.

The second sad aspect of this soap opera is the disrespectful manner in which Mr. Giorlandino has carried himself. His disdain for the advice and opinion presented in a calm and measured manner by former Selectmen Roger Chalen was ignorant at best. His scorn for the opinion presented by the Board of Selectmen appointed Personnel Committee was insensible.

Over the years, we have had some colorful characters on the Board of Selectmen. We have also had many sincere, articulate, fair and polite Selectmen. Mr. Giorlandino only needs to look to the two Selectmen to his right to see examples of such people.

A bot of advice: Learn to disagree without being disagreeable.

Resident
15 years ago

The outside perspective by many potential candiates for the Chief’s job is that this is a “done deal.” It appears that the “fix is in” which is going to limit the number and quality of applicants to the Chiefs job. Many don’t want to waste their time with such an extensive process when the town already knows who they want or when it appears as such.
Too bad the selectmen don’t have the experience to realize this. They did the town an injustice and I’m not sure if the damage can be reversed at this point. Good luck Southborough, but the phrase “May the best (wo)man win…” doesn’t appear to apply in this town.

Marty
14 years ago

WOW!!!

I just re-read Sal’s comments re the automatic selection of Acting Chief Moran. He said his earlier comments “was not meant to pressure the committee in any way regarding what your recommendations should be.” “If you decide after evaluating (the candidates) that she shouldn’t be part of the mix, that’s your call.”Sal has more dance moves than Fred Astaire! Even the late Michael Jackson would be proud of Sal’s moonwalk on this issue!

What Sal does NOT say is that the Board of Selectmen – read that to mean Sal – can select ANYONE they want and disregard the committee’s recommendation.

Sal – you had nine month’s to evaluate Sgt. Moran’s performance in the job. Either she deserves the job or she doesn’t. What she AND the people of Southborough don’t deserve is vacillation and double-talk.

Sal – you cherry picked this committee and have force fed Sgt Moran as a finalist. What I don’t know is this because 1) you believe she would be a good Chief 2) you are afraid of another lawsuit 3) you cannot make a decision

Sal – please DON”T run for re-election. Please. Please. Please.

Concerned
14 years ago

As if to add insult to injury, John Rooney resigned last week from the search committee. How the Board and Committee respond to Mr. Rooney’s resignation will speak volumes about the Board and the search committee’s integrity and commitment to a transparent process.

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