Wednesday, October 31, 2007
So South Hadley now has our two highest paid former town officials (each of whom collects $80-K annually in retirement benefits from Amherst taxpayers) in the beefy guise of former Town Manager Barry Del Castilho and School Superintendent Gus Sayer.
Of course Gus retired from Amherst just after an embarrassing inappropriate contact incident at the High School between the new principal (they didn’t do a very extensive background check as he had a pedophile background) and a 15-year old student. Mr. Sayer neglected to file the mandatory form with the state to report the incident and then quickly retired.
And he retired at $103,000 just under Barry’s salary at the time and was replaced by Jere Hochman at $130,000. Then Barry’s ego got all aflutter (because he is after all the Top Dog) so he orchestrated a sweetheart raise in mid-contract while the sensible center Select board was still controlled by Carl Seppala, just before Czar Anne Awad came to her brief reign.
Current Select board member Greeney then filed a Town Meeting advisory article requesting the Select board negate the last-second raise and it passed. The Select board of course declined to roll back his salalary. And then he retired (after sleepwalking thru his last year and taking the last three months off completely) with an even more cushy retirement because of the raise.
Strangely enough, my favorite Barry episode has nothing to do with the always-ailing Cherry Hill Golf Course (now actually doing a little better since Barry left).
In late 1999 he got caught up in the Y2K scare. A couple of Umass secretaries (maybe one was Vinchesi’s) formed an “End Of The World” committee and started making recommendations to stockpile food and water, switch to wood heat, and buy generators.
Barry actually had the town host a public forum (roping the Police and Fire chief into presenting public safely protocols for major incidents) to allow these whackos to rant. And he went so far as to recommend $60,000 to buy a back-up generator for the Bangs Community Center. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and that money was never spent.