Does East Haven Need a Human Resources Manager?

Former town councilman Dan McCann has taken to the Patch boards to argue it's time to hire a human resources manager for town employees. What's your take?

East Haven Town Hall. Credit: Patch file photo
East Haven Town Hall. Credit: Patch file photo
Does the Town of East Haven need to hire a human resources manager? One resident and reader thinks so.

Dan McCann, a former town councilman and co-founder of the local Independent Party of East Haven, took to the East Haven Patch boards to argue town hall needs a human resources lead to help manage town employees. 

In his post, McCann said the recent New Haven Register report alleging Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr recently fired and then brought back Town Engineer Kevin Smith and Public Services Director Robert Parente demonstrates the town could benefit from a more professional approach to handling staff and employee related issues.

In the board post McCann writes: "As the Chief Elected Official once again Joe Maturo shows just how immature he is in handling employee matters and turns them into a 3 ring circus... now it’s the mechanical pump caper where Town Engineer Kevin White and Public Works Director Robert Parente were terminated, no, they were told to find another job, no, they were told they had 30 days left to find another job? According to Maturo that never happened, however, now we’ve just learned they are at work. Whatever the case! Where there is smoke there is fire!"

The board post has already sparked a discussion, with readers taking different sides of the issue.

Richard Poulton commented: "While no one knows what "actually" happended that brought this to lite and the future status of individuals involved, one thing is clear and left out of Mr. McCann's piece. The positions of employment involved in this case are specified in the Charter as positions appointed by and they serve at the "pleasure" of the Mayor. Unless a re-write of the Charter is done, what Mr. McCann is saying, people in such positions can come and go. They are not civil service protected as in the case of a third party that may or may not be involved. A Human Resourse Officer would not help..."

And Lise Cavallaro shared: "I am not familiar with the ins and outs of this, so I won't comment on any particulars. However, a Human Resources Manager does sound like it would alleviate confusion, etc..."

But, what's your take: Would it be beneficial for the town to hire a human resources manager? Should the Town Council explore the option? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or speak out on the boards.
Bob Fawkes January 09, 2014 at 07:45 PM
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it, and a Moral code that glorifies it." ~~ Claude Frédéric Bastiat --------------------------------------------------- What East Haven needs first and foremost is Charter Revision making ALL positions civil service based. Too bad that neither party wants to touch that subject with a ten foot pole. Too many D & R sucklings living off the public teet.
Richard Poulton January 09, 2014 at 09:09 PM
Quick question Bob. How would that work, having ALL positions be civil service based? There are 40 plus boards & commissions that are filled with appointees by either the office of the Mayor or Town Council, a total of around 160 volunteer citizens. These people meet once a month and do business of what ever B or C they are on. No pay, no benefits. No one making them serve their fellow citizens. So again, just how would making all these positions civil service based work? Would someone wanting to be on the Fire Commission have to be familiar with what its like to be a fireman? Or on the P & Z board, would they have to be tested as to the states zoning laws? Shall I go on or do you get my point? I have been on the wetlands commission for over 12 years. What "suckling am I living off the public teet"? No one pays me, I spend countless hours checking on job sites to make sure people are in compliance with wetland laws, attend monthly meetings, go to DEEP classes to better myself as to changes in laws. All for nothing Bob. Again I am one of some 160 citizen volunteers that serve on these B & C's. And yes, we all serve subject to the pleasure of the mayor.
Bob Fawkes January 09, 2014 at 09:34 PM
All paid positions should be civil service based. People drawing a salary or hourly paycheck or a stipend aught to be competent in the work they are paid to do. You paint everyone with this unpaid volunteer paintbrush, Richard. If everyone is an unpaid volunteer where the hell does our $90 million dollar annual budget go?
Richard Poulton January 10, 2014 at 09:20 AM
Good morning Bob. You should look at the EH budget you mentioned. Just over half goes to the BofE of which we the tax payers, as well as the Mayor & TC, have no actual control. Take that up with the State legislature. People on boards & commissions are not paid, except for a stipent paid I believe to those on the NHWPCA board. There are I believe 40 boards & commissions that are filled with people who yes volunteer their services to be on these B's & C's. Like I mentioned earlier, all serve at the pleasure of the Mayor. New Mayor comes in, when poistions expire the positions are filled with that mayors appointees.


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