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East Hampton Town Manager explains interim-chief decision

February 6, 2013 Letters to Editor, Local News No Comments

EAST HAMPTON TOWN HALL-500 pixelsDear Citizens,

Many of you have heard about my recent decision to temporarily appoint Matthew Reimondo to the position of Interim Police Chief in accordance with Town code 109-2. I am writing you in an effort to explain my decision and provide you with the details.

The job of the Town Manager is not to be involved with politics, but to ensure the Town as an organization continues to deliver services to the community in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

My decision to fill the interim position posed many challenges because of the State Statutes, lack of an internal succession plan, lack of managerial experience available and the political climate of this position.

Due to the state statutory requirements, fiscal restraints and the quick timeline to get the position filled, an external applicant was unattainable.

Promoting from within was also wrought with challenges, including the lack of managerial experience, the political dynamic of the Chief’s position and how to effectively promote and possibly demote an officer after a permanent employee was found. As a result, I was left with only one option.

In an effort to operate as openly as possible, the specifics of the Interim Chief appointment are as follows:

  • Matthew Reimondo is on a 3-month contract, which can be renewed on a week-to-week basis.
  • He will receive $36.92 an hour for a 37.5 hour work week. Monthly this will equal $2,000 less than he was making while a permanent employee of the Town.
  • At the end of his agreement, he will also receive a $6,000 one-time stipend for health insurance.
  • He cannot receive his pension during his employment and is ineligible to accrue additional earnings toward his pension as a temporary employee.

Some have claimed this employment agreement was done illegally; this is not true, due to the standard boilerplate language which allows for an amendment of the agreement.

When looking at the separation agreement (Sec. 5) there is a paragraph not allowing for reemployment. This is standard separation agreement language and if one were to read further to the end of Sec. 12 it clearly states, “No other contracts, agreements or promises contrary to this agreement shall be binding or of any effect unless signed by the parties after the date of this agreement.”

It is this language which allows for the employment agreement and if one were to look at that employment agreement, the same boiler plate language is found there as well.

Moving forward, I have already announced the national search for a permanent Police Chief. I have developed an aggressive but attainable timeline for the interview, hiring and retention process.

My goal is to identify and retain the Town’s new Chief of Police by mid-May. I encourage all interested applicants to apply.

Speaking for both myself and the Town staff, we will continue to provide East Hampton with the best services possible.

Best regards,

Michael Maniscalco

Posted February 6, 2013

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