Our Town Manager

John Klimm is eager to remain as Barnstable's Town Manager

By Janet Joakim, Barnstable Town Councilor

I spoke with Town Manager John Klimm on September 2nd, and he told me he has chosen to sign the contract amendments offered to him after the manipulated prearranged vote at the June 23 town council meeting. However, he has assured me that he is eager to remain in the position within the same parameters of the contract he was offered by 12 of 13 councilors (including Farnham, Crocker, Canedy, Munafo and Milne) back in 2009 if the atmosphere changes after November.

Councilors have been creating a toxic work environment for Klimm and for his staff.

I also learned that as he was dealing with the preparations and the aftermath of the Hurricane Irene, he was forwarded emails and messages written by the councilors who have been creating a toxic work environment for him and for his staff. It was clear that if he didn't sign this contract, the efforts of the six to continue to make life difficult for our town to function will not stop.

The new contract changes require that he continue in his position until December 15th 2011. It is my hope that local residents - of all precincts - will take an interest in the upcoming council elections, question all candidates and examine their intentions for our town's future and support those who are clearly interested in keeping this town moving forward on a positive tract.

Candidates need to be asked if they will work with others and will make an effort to find compromise when they disagree, or if they will continue this new "my way or the highway" attitude that has driven six councilors since last year's elections.

The Town of Barnstable is at a crossroads, if the wrong path is taken, our town is at risk of losing too much. This isn't over; we can still retain our town manager and keep this town running smoothly and with award winning budgets and innovations.

To provide an example of the types of messages being given to the town manager, I am including a copy of a recent email from Hank Farnham. Please remember these three key points.

  1. Farnham and Canedy did NOT participate in the last evaluation, (2010).
  2. Farnham gave John Klimm a 4 out of 5 in the previous evaluation (2008) and Canedy gave him a *5*.
  3. In January 2009, following that 2008 evaluation, with one year left on his contract, Canedy, Farnham, Crocker, Munafo and Milne all signed a contract offer to extend his contract FIVE YEARS. This essentially secured our agreement with John Klimm to remain as manager for another 6 years.

Councilor Farnham is pushing for a new evaluation several months before the contractual evaluation is to be done, he never did anything about an evaluation during his presidency, he didn't even participate in the last evaluation and now he wants one done BEFORE the election.

This is just one example of the type of intimidation coming from each of these councilors.

This is just one example of the type of intimidation coming from each of these councilors. There are several other emails and letters and I have requested copies. Councilor Farnham's email demonstrates a tenor and tone that exemplify how these councilors are not working to keep our town running smoothly; rather they are determined to continue to create distractions and divides.

I intend to pursue my options with regards to the open meeting law complaint I filed July 1.

Please stay involved.

Janet Joakim, Barnstable Town Councilor, Precinct 6

-----Original Message-----
From: Hank [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2011 10:19 PM
To: Frederick Chirigotis
Cc: Ann Canedy; aaJimC; aaJimM; aaGreg; DPAC a JohnN; BPat Ed; zDvStl; BEnt JimKin; Ford, Barbara
Subject: Re: Emailing: CCF08262011_00000
Dear President Chirigotis,

I intended to be at the council agenda meeting on Tuesday but Gretchen and I were lucky enough to get a birthday present from my kids- tickets behind home plate to the Sox/Yanks game that night.

I remain fully supportive of the request to revote Manager Klimm's contract amendment- bring it on to the public at our next meeting. I also want to reiterate my request for a formal performance evaluation of Manager Klimm to be conducted in September.
The town Manager's evaluations have received sporadic compliance with the town charter's requirement for annual reviews over the years. In fact, the council has missed some of Manager Klimm's annual reviews.

It remains my goal to strive for improving the working relationship between the elected council and also the appointed town manager. To accomplish that goal, it means we need to perform a new Manager's evaluation- one that all of us could feel comfortable participating in rather than what happened at the last two manager's reviews. If the council leadership is more interested in political retribution against the minority councilors who are concerned about where the town is headed, than I suspect you'll let things stand until the November election as you previously stated. However, the voters will need to understand before the November election, all the logic and consequences behind your final decisions- and the desire of some in power to establish stronger support for the town manager and a stronger grip on the taxpayers.


Hank Farnham


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