Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Amherst's Teflon coated bureaucrats

Former Amherst Town Manager Larry Shaffer, who suddenly "retired" and left town with a $62,000 going away present the same day his secretary disappeared with $23,000 in hush money did, finally, land another job in "public service"--city manager of Jackson, Michigan; although he took a bit of a pay cut, down from $127,000 to only $115,000.

You almost have to wonder if there's a course taught for public administration majors on how to obscure mistakes and Cover Your Ass. It's not so much that he cheated on his wife while "serving" the town, it's more that he allegedly did it with a subordinate employee at town hall (before taking up with a UMass professor more in keeping with his stature.)

Or at the very least town manager wannabes should take a primer on Public Relations. Mr. Shaffer made a bad decision right off the bat by following the Select Board's marching orders to trample the First Amendment rights of the July 4th Parade Committee by forcing them to allow protesters to march in the privately organized, non-political family event.

Since the Select Board can fire a town manager with a simply majority vote, I guess you can't blame him for covering his ass on that issue--especially since the Board at the time leaned to the left of Chairman Mao.

But to tax Boy Scouts Christmas trees after 60 years of tax-free selling was decidedly different--and perhaps more telling story--as he initiated the entire fiasco on his own without even telling the Select Board before coming up with the idiotic scheme.

And obviously he did not share with the current Board his ethically challenged personal inter office decision to allegedly have an affair (hopefully not during business hours).

Perhaps he has learned a lesson...or maybe Jackson, Michigan will.


Adam R Sweet said...

Who did he have the affair with?

LarryK4 said...

You have to do the math and add it up yourself as no video exists.

His secretary (with only 3.5 years service to the town) suddenly left the same day he did with a $23,000 payoff.

And during those few years of service she received a double step pay increase when every other employee in town received a normal step increase, or none at all (and I hear she was not all that good at her job).

Anonymous said...

Must have been good at something!

Anonymous said...

I see you are back to your old scumbag self. No news worth writing about so you go back to character assasination.

You're weak and your writing sucks. Ed is a better writer and journalist than you, by far.

-Friendly neighborhood anon

Roach Patrol said...

Amherst still doesn't know what the big deal is.



dominique said...

some interesting facts can be gleaned by searching news articles during his tenure in Vernon, CT

Anonymous said...

The town lost some good loyal employees because of him....

Anonymous said...

And the members of the Select Board who hired him were?????

Let's promise ourselves: never again will we elect such people to town-wide office.

Ed said...

The thing that everyone forgot in the Christmas Tree mess was the Federal "Defense of Scouting Act" and how he placed all the Federal money that the town receives in immediate jeapordy....

Anonymous said...

Remember Larry Shaffer's primary qualification for Town Manager in the Amherst interview process with our Select Board of that time:

He wasn't "Barry's guy".

This is what happens when we have reactionary leadership. We could be just two elections away from doing that again.