The Board of Selectmen had high praise for Town Administrator Paul Sagarino while detailing the results of a recent job performance evaluation during Monday night’s meeting.
Town Accountant and Assistant Town Administrator John Danizio explained that the town had worked with town counsel to create the process of the evaluation. He said they came up with 10 categories with four to six measurements in each category. In January members of the board made their evaluations with a point scale of 1-4 with one being “unsatisfactory” and four being “exceeds expectations.” There was also space for comments in each category and an overall assessment at the end of the evaluation.
The ten categories were:
- Personal characteristics
- Public Relations and Communications
- Board Support
- Community Leadership
- Organizational Leadership
- Personnel Management
- Financial Management
- Town Operations and Infrastructure
- Planning and Organization
Members of the board were very positive in their comments about Sagarino’s performance. Chairman Joe Morandi pointed out that when averaged the lowest rating on any category 3.2 and member Bob Hogan said that if all the scores were averaged across categories it would be 3.8 or 3.9.
Hogan started the comments by pointing out that Sagarino is the third town administrator he has worked with as a member of the board as he previously worked with Bob Mercier and John Petrin.
“Paul was the most obvious choice and I’m glad we agreed that going looking outside wouldn’t have gotten us anyone better because there really isn’t anyone better,” he said.
He added that with Sagarino, Danizio and new Town Treasury Gary Gianino he thinks the town’s financial situation is strong in terms of leadership.
“I think we’re in solid shape for the next several years,” he said.
Selectman Mike Ruynan noted that when Sagarino was promoted from Town Accountant to Town Administrator he did not have a significant amount of management experience but that he rose to the occasion.
“Paul came to us with only a little bit of experience in management but he has certainly met or exceeded my expectations over the last two years,” he said. “I’ll tell you, I am so proud of Paul and the rest of our team with how they’ve been handling this COVID-19 crisis for the community. We all owe this team of professionals a debt of gratitude.”
Selectman Nick Priest said he was glad the previous board chose someone with a financial background.
“Your appointment was a wise decision by the board, in hindsight, with your accounting background,” he said. “Your level headed approach and ability to both see the big picture and focus on the details I think are some of the characteristics that have benefited the town. Not just during the pandemic but prior as well.”
Selectman Jim Tigges also focused on Sagarino’s work during the pandemic.
“Paul has excelled in his job during a pandemic and I can just imagine where we’d be if we didn’t have this happening,” he said. “I just want to thank you as a resident and a selectman for all you’ve done for the town and for us and I think once we’re on the other side of this things are only going to get better.”
Morandi said he was grateful for the work Sagarino has done both during the pandemic and before it struck.
“I, as a resident, realize what you’ve done for this town and it is incredible,” he said. “You’ve gone through this pandemic very well and for the last six years you have gone above and beyond what we expect of our people.”
For his part, Sagarino said he was grateful of the selectmen for going through the evaluation process and that despite the praise he will continue to work on improving.
“I want to thank all the board members for taking the time to do the evaluation, I know it’s time consuming but it’s important to get feedback on where we are,” he said. “I’m also grateful for all the very thoughtful comments and criticisms. I know I have a long way to go and a lot to learn and I will continuously strive to get better every single year.
Finally, Sagarino said he couldn’t be successful without the town employees.
“I want to thank all the town employees because you know I can’t do what I do without a great team of town employees and they’ve been amazing in the work that they do and deserve a great debt of gratitude,” he said.