EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 23, 2013

Selectmen double town manager's list of goals

By Dustin Luca

---- — ANDOVER — Going into their third year of giving Town Manager Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski annual goals, the Board of Selectmen have doubled the list of objectives and changed how they’re executed.

While previous iterations of the town manager’s goals have contained four or five objectives to complete by the end of the year, Stapczynski now has 10 tasks to deliver on, with some due in just a few months, according to officials.

How Stapczynski is graded in completing the goals is also changing.

“In the last two years that I’ve been on the board, it was a math problem. We assigned a number to each one of the goals, and we added up each of the totals,” he said. “We weren’t taking into consideration his management style and ability to lead people.”

This time around, the 10 goals range from bringing options for large town projects to residents for a vote, merging town departments, settle labor contracts by a specific date and act on plans to outsource specific town operations.

Most of the goals focus on projects that have been under way for years.

“These are multi-year, huge projects for us, and many of them need to be started now because it’s going to take quite a bit of discussion and policy development,” Stapczynski said. “These are not one-and-done kinds of projects. These are huge for the community.”

Each goal has anywhere from one to five “deliverables” meant to measure his progress as time moves forward.

They’re “touch points,” Stapczynski said. “Many of these, they culminate in a Town Meeting vote or some sort of legislative decision or policy development.”

In previous years, Stapczynski’s ability to complete the goals has also determined how much of a raise he gets from one year to the next. That won’t be the case this year, Salafia said, but the concept is still there.

“We will certainly use this as a yard stick along with other points of evaluation,” he said. “It becomes more subjective.”

Buzz's Goals: 1. Develop an "Other Post Employment Benefits" funding plan to reduce the town's unfunded, retiree benefits liability estimated to be as high as $300 million. Deliverable: determine policies with staff input, and research appropriate investment vehicle by June 30. 2. Create a plan to relocate or renovate the Town Yard. Deliverable: Form zoning changes by April, issue proposal request for land purchase by Dec. 2012, have an article to relocate or rebuild before town voters by fall 2013. 3. Consolidate town Public Works and Plant and Facilities departments. Deliverables: Reflect consolidation of departments in upcoming year's budget, have consolidation effective July 2013, recruit and hire Municipal Facilities Director by May or June, 2013. 4. Develop a pilot program for "In Lieu of Taxes" that encourages non-tax paying entities to provide services or donations to town instead of paying taxes. Deliverables: Research similar programs in other towns, list non-profits in Andover, and provide pilot initiative by April, 2013. 5. Create town and school agreement that enables efficient and effective use of buildings and facilities. Deliverables: develop memorandum of understanding between users and stakeholders by April, 2013, and use a facility at one school during February and April school vacation weeks. 6. Create Ballardvale Fire Station relocation plan that can be presented at future Town Meeting. Deliverable: Determine Board of Selectmen priorities with timing related to other town and school building projects by May, 2013. 7. Expand current department head performance evaluation system to include town employees. Deliverable: Choose one department to complete a pilot program by June, 2013. 8. Develop a plan for funding the operating and capital expenses of putting ambulance service in the to-be-built Ballardvale Fire Station. Deliverable: same as goal six. 9. Finalize labor contracts. Deliverables: For each of five public safety-related unions (i.e. Andover Fire Fighters Union, Andover Police Superior Officers Union), have contracts finalized by June, 2013. 10. Finalize recommendations for outsourcing current town operations, as proposed and developed in previous yearly goals. Deliverables: Complete this goal for each of three prior targets by April, 2013 (Payroll, Imaging As A Service, Janitorial), and offer recommendation on further departmental consolidations and efficiencies by August, 2013.