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Milton selectmen vote not to renew Town Administrator's contract, may reconsider on Monday

Posted by Natalie Feulner  July 23, 2012 10:14 AM

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The Milton Board of Selectmen has voted not to renew Town Administrator Kevin Mearn’s contract, but may reconsider the decision next Monday.

Mearn has worked as the town administrator for about five years and prior to that worked for Milton Police, serving as chief for 15 years.

The board will vote again next Monday on whether or not to renew Mearn’s contract, but one selectman says he doesn’t think the decision made in a closed-door meeting last week will change.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Tom Hurley said Monday morning that the board violated the open meeting law last week by voting against renewing the Town Administrator’s contract, 2-1, during an executive session.

He said the topic was not on the agenda for a discussion or vote but two members of the board said they wanted to discuss several contracts, including Mearn’s. A motion was then made to not renew Mearn's contract and selectmen Denis Keohane and Bob Sweeney voted in favor.

Hurley voted against the motion and said Monday that he felt Mearn’s contract should have been renewed or at least considered in a public forum.

“I felt that Kevin Mearn was doing a good job and that there were no grounds not to renew his contract,” Hurley said pointing out that since 2009, the town has avoided tax overrides – a fact he believes is due largely in part to Mearn’s leadership.

Mearn had been working without a contract since June 30 so the vote Wednesday terminated his position immediately. Assistant Town Administrator Annemarie Fagan has been serving in his place since then.

In an email sent over the weekend, Sweeney said he voted not to renew Mearn’s contract because he felt a fresh start would "compliment the board."

“It seems to me that a fresh Town Administrator will not only complement the board, but more importantly will serve the best interests of the citizens of Milton as we move forward,” he said.

The Board of Selectmen will meet next Monday at 8 p.m. for a regular meeting and Hurley said this time, the item will be on the agenda.

“We will vote again, but I’m certain there will not be much discussion,” he said.

Natalie Feulner can be reached at natalie.feulner@gmail.com.

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