EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 4, 2012

Buzz goals close to complete

Current iteration of goals has 10 objectives

By Dustin Luca

---- — 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.

The deliverable, in this case, could be whether Stapczynski has developed a plan for paying off the town’s OPEB obligations and set a time frame for the plan’s implementation. He could have until the end of the fiscal year to develop that plan, Salafia said.

Another goal on the list involves completing a plan to renovate and possibly relocate the town’s Town Yard.

“These are goals that we’ve identified that we would like to emphasize in fiscal year 2013,” Salafia said. “They may take multiple years to accomplish.”

There are a total of ten goals at the moment. The first two years of Stapczynski’s newest contract had four or five goals to complete per year. They had to be completed by the end of the year they were set for.

This time around, the list of goals is more dynamic, according to Salafia.

“Some goals will fall off once they’re completed, and new goals will be added,” he said. “This will be a living, ongoing document. We’re constantly reviewing, adding and subtracting completed goals.”