What Are The Amherst New Hampshire Selectman Hiding?

by Steve MacDonald

The Amherst New Hampshire Town Selectman are trying to use the state’s Right to Know Law to hide something.  Town Administrator Jim O’Mara has been put on administrative leave and the selectman are refusing to answer any questions.

Calling it a personnel issue, selectmen refuse to comment on O’Mara’s status as a town employee. Bruce Bowler, selectmen chairman, said previously that private employee matters are protected under the state’s right to- know law, refusing to give details of O’Mara’s leave.

H/T Union Leader

That includes not explaining if the leave is paid or unpaid.

No offense intended to the Amherst Selectman but seeing as you are paying or not paying him with tax dollars, that information is not personal.  You can’t hide behind 91-a.

More from Kimberly Houghton at the Union Leader

“The taxpayers deserve answers to these questions,” said Vincent. “We need to know what is going on with the town administrator position.” The New Hampshire Union Leader has filed two right-to-know requests with the town seeking information about the matter, specifically requesting documentation on whether O’Mara has been placed on paid or unpaid administrative leave from his $94,000 a year position. “We are unable to honor your request because the information you seek is part of the internal personnel file of the individual,” Bowler wrote, rejecting both requests.

Rick Crocker, another active member of the Amherst Citizens Association and the town’s former fire chief, said there are many local residents frustrated by the lack of transparency of town officials.

“Where is the vote by selectmen to determine whether (O’Mara) should be placed on leave? There is no record of a vote taken,” said Crocker.

Perhaps someone should remind the Amherst Selectman that there are now civil penalties for officials who violate Right to Know requests.


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