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October 16, 2013

Danvers selectmen give town manager high marks

DANVERS — Town Manager Wayne Marquis earned a “commendable” rating from selectmen last night, about the same rating he earned last year.

Marquis thanked selectmen for their recommendation and their frankness, which he said led to “a good healthy exchange.”

“It says we have a good, healthy relationship, which is not always the case in other communities,” Marquis said. He said the high marks reflect well not only on him, but his staff and senior managers.

“We are not perfect, but there is a concept in management called continuous improvement,” Marquis said.

Marquis, who has served as town manager for nearly 35 years, has a contract which runs through June 2017. He was scheduled to earn $187,700 in fiscal 2013. His rating of 4 out of 5 on 10 subject matters is about what he received during a performance review a little more than a year ago.

Last night, Marquis earned high marks in many areas, including perfect scores on his “financial management” and “interorganizational cooperation” and “commendable” and “outstanding” marks for his “general management,” “planning,” and “community outreach.”

Marquis, however, fielded a wide range of questions from board members on the things they rated him the lowest on.

Some selectmen were concerned about Marquis’ ability to recruit and retain key employees, and he earned a mark of “quality performance” from the board, or a 3 out 5. The mark came in light of the loss of the 15-year head of Danvers Electric to the multi-community Reading Electric Light Department, while at the same time commending him for having a set of key long-term employees in place. Marquis said the employee left to pursue a bigger job for more pay.

Other board members were concerned that Marquis was not doing enough to expand the town’s water supply. Marquis said the town has hit the wall when it comes to overcoming federal rules that prevent the construction of a new reservoir out of Emerson Brook in Middleton.

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