Evaluation Has Selectmen Eying Raise for Hanson
TYNGSBORO -- The town is in a strong financial position and operating smoothly, according to Town Manager Matthew Hanson’s recent performance evaluation. Based on that evaluation town officials will mull over a pay raise for Hanson during the next several months of budget discussions.
The 11-page review was “all positive,” Hanson said. The Board of Selectmen concurred that he has exceeded expectations set for the last 12 months. Hanson wrote the initial evaluation and then selectmen made comments that Chairman Rick Reault compiled and presented.
Reault said the board was particularly happy with the grant money Hanson has brought to town for various projects.
Both selectmen and Hanson gave credit to the work of the administration and town employees for what the town has achieved.
“The review demonstrates the amount of work this administration does,” Reault said.
Hanson estimates that he has brought “well over $3 million, perhaps as much as $3.5 million” to the town during his tenure. The town is a regional leader in state grant awards.
According to his review, the status of some grants -- the grants applied for, awarded, or in progress is:
n Applied for and awarded $400,000 from the state’s Complete Streets program. The state Department of Transportation defines a complete street as one that provides safe and accessible options for all travel modes - walking, biking, transit, and motorized vehicles - for people of all ages and abilities.
n Planned application for $100,000 Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Project Fund Grant. This application is for a 50 percent matching grant for the First Parish Meeting House interior restoration.
n Completed implementation of Fiscal Year 2018 $250,000 Green Community Grant award projects for School Department and Old Town Hall.
n Continued oversight, implementation and contract administration for Fiscal Year 2018 $2.5 million MassWorks grant award for Flints Corner improvements.
Asked what he would like to highlight in the review, Hanson pointed to the work that he, town administrators and selectmen have accomplished towards their 2019 joint goals.
“We have made significant progress on these in the last six months,” he said.
Several topics are threaded throughout the document -- working on developing the town center, restoring the First Parish Meeting House and purchasing the Tyngsboro Country Club.
Noting that some events in the last year were unpredictable, Hanson said, “At the beginning of 2018, we did not anticipate that we would be seeking a Town Meeting authorization to purchase the Tyngsboro Country Club. We did not know that the Fire Department would submit union paperwork that ultimately lead to a voluntary recognition process and subsequent negotiations. We did not know that we would receive several large grants including a second $2.5 million MassWorks grant in two years.”
New goals identified for the coming year include exploring locations for public safety facility and determining potential uses for the former Winslow School and Littlefield Library. These goals have some overlap because the Winslow School is under consideration as the site for the public safety facility.
Also important for 2019 is updating the town’s Master Plan. The update process will give town residents the opportunity to provide input on the public safety facility and the Winslow School.
Also on Hanson’s agenda for the coming year is reviewing the Government Study Commission Final Report, reviewing enforcement mechanisms for a plastic bag ban, and collaborating with the Board of Health and regional agencies on the opioid crisis.