May 24, 2023 By Carol Britton Meyer
During his annual performance review — required to be completed during a public meeting — Select Board member William Ramsey praised Town Administrator Tom Mayo for “a tremendously successful year,” pointing to Town Meeting approval of a new Foster School, a new public safety facility, and the passage of a $7.9 million override as examples. This is Mayo’s sixth year serving in this role.
“You faced all of these [issues] at the same time and got everything passed,” Ramsey said.
The Advisory Committee chair and three department heads also weighed in on Mayo’s review but did not speak during last night’s board meeting.
Improved communication internally and within the community was identified as a goal moving forward. “To the extent that there are topics to be addressed, communication is always a topic,” Select Board member Joseph Fisher said. “It’s important [for people] to get a response when they contact us. We need to work on that.”
Fisher went on to say that the most important aspect of town government is transparency “and making sure that those who elected us receive the service to which they are entitled.”
“[Improving communication] is a solid goal of mine,” Mayo responded.
Ramsey sees this year and the next as “reset” years. “The board will come up with its list of goals and objectives and I would like to see a timeline for implementation [outlined by the town administrator],” he said.
Potential overarching Select Board goals for the coming fiscal year were discussed at the meeting as a start to the conversation and include driving process improvements, including communication; identifying revenue and cost-saving opportunities; implementing the Master Plan, including climate resiliency and wellness for all ages; and managing large capital projects and infrastructure investments.
Part of the review process includes a self-evaluation by the town administrator. A challenge Mayo pointed out is finding ways to diversify the Town of Hingham’s workforce. “I’m not sure how to do it and welcome feedback, including from the public,” he said.
“I’m working with the human resources director [to accomplish this]. It’s one of my goals.”
Chair Liz Klein praised Mayo for “maintaining Town Hall operations during a difficult budget season” and for his role in establishing the town’s mental health task force in response to needs in the community.
At the same time, she also sees a need to improve communication with staff and also externally — and not just when there is an emergency. “We have lots of good news to share [about the town], and I would like to see more of an effort to let people know what’s going on at Town Hall and what’s being accomplished,” Klein said.
At the end of the review, Ramsey told Mayo: “We appreciate your hard work and dedication to the community over the past 12 months.”