EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

December 4, 2012

Buzz goals close to complete

Current iteration of goals has 10 objectives

ANDOVER — With a late start to developing goals for Town Manager Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski, the town is changing how it issues and sets goals for its highest official.

As part of Stapczynski’s current contract with the Board of Selectmen, goals are set for him annually. His ability to complete the goals determines how much of a raise he gets every year.

Because the year is almost halfway over, the deadline for the new goals and how they will be measured are still being nailed down between Stapczynski and Paul Salafia, Board of Selectmen chairman.

Some of the goals will likely reach into later years, according to Salafia. The deliverables — how the goals will be measured — are also being ironed out.

“We’ve settled on the actual goals. Now, we’re just trying to determine deliverables and timing,” Salafia said. “After we look at the deliverables and timing, we might be able to further determine whether or not we can connect it to compensation.”

The goals “all blend in together. One year kind of meshes into the next year with these,” Stapczynski said. “We’re getting a late start in the fiscal year. That’s one issue, but that’s not the only issue. The bigger issue is that many of these goals we’re looking at have long, long time horizons that involve Town Meeting, legislative issues. They’re not a one-and-done goal.”

The ten goals weren’t yet available as of yesterday. They’re expected to be finalized over the next 10 days.

When asked for goal examples, Salafia said the first one on the list involves establishing a funding plan for the town’s current “Other Post-Employment Benefits” obligations, or OPEB for short.

OPEB, by and large, is made up of the total cost of health care and other retirement benefits the town is paying to retired employees. Many towns are facing obligations reaching into the tens of millions of dollars, with some going into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

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