EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

October 3, 2013

Frustration boils over at Salem Town Hall

Town manager says the inappropriate behavior will end


Hargreaves said he ends up fielding the brunt of complaints about town services because the other selectmen either work in Massachusetts or do not have a business in town that people visit.

Hickey apologized to Hargreaves.

He said any town employee who complains they are overworked and overpaid will be “underworked and not paid.”

Hickey said yesterday he had no prior knowledge of the situation and did not have a reason to doubt Hargreaves’ allegations.

“I don’t think Pat overreacted,” he said.

Hickey said town employees who have complaints should bring them to their supervisor, not the public.

He said more than a dozen town jobs, including a few inspection positions, have been eliminated in the last few years, but morale is not a big problem and the work is still getting done — just not as quick as previously.

“We will continue to do the best we can,” he said.

Other selectmen came to Hargreaves’ defense, including Stephen Campbell.

“I understand how the staff feels the way they do, but there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to express that,” he said. “If it is anything like Mr. Hargreaves describes, I think we are well over the line.”

Chairman Everett McBride said town employees need to adjust to the changes.

“We made decisions and we are going to live with those decisions and the staff has to do the same,” he said.

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