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Published On: Thu, Feb 28th, 2013

Selectwoman MacFarlane dresses down Boncek’s revised town admin job description

sandyTOWN HOUSE- All eyes turned to Peter Boncek, the Chairman of the Town Government Implementation Committee, as he took the podium to present his revised version of the town administrator’s job description during a presentation to the selectmen on Tuesday night.

Soon after, all eyes turned to Selectwoman Sandy MacFarlane (pictured).

Sandy MacFarlane - January 8, 2013“I have a problem with this job description,” MacFarlane said to Boncek as the Board of Selectmen (BOS) opened the floor for comments on Tuesday night. “Had a human resources person looked at this I think it would be worded a little more appropriately.”

MacFarlane, who claimed to have experience writing job descriptions as an employee for the Town of Hanover, then began surgically dissecting the Town Government Implementation Committee’s job description, as submitted by Boncek.

“Some of the things in the position purpose are actually skills,” MacFarlane said. “Some of the things you’ve got down in supervisions should be in the first paragraph. It needs to be tightened up.”

MacFarlane said she believed that the goal of what Kingston wants in a town administrator had been lost in the submitted job description.

“I don’t believe a town administrator should be planning for the town,” MacFarlane said when addressing language in the submitted job description that would authorize a future town administrator to participate in town planning.

Photo by Bradford Randall

Former-TA Jim Thomas

In an obvious reference to the short but tumultuous tenure of former-Town Administrator Jim Thomas, MacFarlane also addressed language in the job description that recommend the BOS hire a “good public speaker” for Kingston’s top job.

“I think with some of the experiences we’ve had recently, that’s the last thing I’d want from a town administrator. Why would a town administrator have to be a good public speaker,” MacFarlane asked Boncek.

MacFarlane didn’t stop there.

“There are sentences in here that are kind of redundant,” MacFarlane said as she cut through the job description like a journalism professor.

MacFarlane also pointed out several run-on and sentences and misspellings before turning her focus to the Town Government Implementation Committee’s assertion that a future town administrator should “implement and chair the financial management team.”

“When you have a town administrator, who works for the BOS, chairing a committee…it just tilts it a little bit,” MacFarlane said.

Photo by Bradford Randall

Peter Boncek

Boncek then corrected MacFarlane, saying that the proposed body was a financial management team, not a committee.

MacFarlane retorted. “I agree with the idea of having a team, and you’re right. It’s not a committee, therefore I wouldn’t have a chair anyways.”

Boncek answered MacFarlane’s critiquing. “Everything in this job description obviously is not set in stone,” Boncek said. “Give us the notes that you want to give us. We’ll bring [the job description] back.”

“Well I’m not sure it would do any good to send it back to your committee, I’d like to send it to an H.R. person,” MacFarlane said.

The BOS then accepted the Town Government Implementation Committee’s town administrator job description contingent upon comments from a professional recruiter and the BOS.

Nancy Howlett has served as Kingston’s acting-Town Administrator since the July 2, 2012 resignation of Jim Thomas. The BOS are tasked with replacing Thomas and have previously voted to hire a professional recruiter to provide a list of qualified candidates. encourages our loyal readers to speak up and contribute to the discussion. Sharing your opinion with the Journal is easy- just submit a comment below after a simple test to prove you’re a living, breathing human.

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  1. GlowGolf says:

    I know this may not be traditional, but in my opinion a salary increase for this position should not have been voted on until the job description was finished.

  2. chuck curtis says:

    None of these people know what they’re doing. We are now the laughing stock of the State. Noone is going to apply for this job.

  3. chuck curtis says:

    The more I think of Sandy M. debating Peter B. over our future the more insane I realize this situation is.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Are you freaking kidding me? Here’s the job description:

    “Wanted: Town administrator for town of Kingston, Mass. Send resume.”

    Run it in the want ad. Ten bucks. Start interviewing people. NOW. No. You’re going to debate this in committee for a year or more and then spend thousands of the taxpayers’ dollars to “hire an HR person” to write a glorious job description. This is Kingston Massachusetts, not New York City for cripes sakes!

    This says it all about what’s broke and won’t ever be fixed with this regime of idiots in charge…