, Salem, MA

March 19, 2014

Letter: Wary of towns’ overlap

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

As a Hamilton citizen, there has been an issue that’s disconcerted me for sometime — the fact that our town manager lives in Wenham.

I’ve no doubt that he is qualified for the job and mean no disrespect, but I’ve always had reservations. I’d have no such qualms if he lived in any other nearby town, but Hamilton and Wenham are very tightly “tied” together, particularly with current talks about joining with Wenham in regard to public maintenance issues, of which I have no opinion either way.

However, it is my opinion that the Hamilton town manager residing in Wenham seems like a situation ripe for conflicts of interest. Our town manager is involved with various issues that could help Wenham (and possibly impact their tax rates — of which he would benefit as a Wenham resident) and possibly cost the Hamilton taxpayers.

However, this situation must be legal or our town authority wouldn’t have put us in this position (right?), but being “legal” doesn’t necessarily mean “right.”

I just ask this one question: I wonder how Wenham residents would’ve felt if their manager was a Hamilton resident — one who has authority over many issues that could affect their tax rates and services?

Hamilton readers — am I the only one who has some concern over this?

Susan Welch