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.


Leave a Comment

  • Ed Naile

    If, and probably when, O’mara’s contract is paid off as a settlement in the unlawful termination case which I assume will be in the works, the Amherst Selectmen will have to pay $94,000.00 for an extended period to a guy who has “left the building.”
    With that kind of money they could, for instance, unlawfully lease three more dump trucks!
    Is that a win, win, win, or what?

    • C. dog e. doG

      You’re always looking on the bright side of life, Ed.
      – C. dog

      • nhsteve

        That is the bright side.

    • nhsteve

      Ed, I just read your dissertation on the Amherst Selectman’s fiscal square dance. Very instructive. Posting a follow-up that leans heavily on your observations.

      Noted the reference to the magic “fairy zeroes.” Those pesky things. Always hiding from the taxpayers like that…hey, in your list of embezzlers over at NHI did you remember the lunch lady from Concord? What she stole would have bought a lot of tater-tots…sorry, that would be sweet potatoes now.

  • Pingback: Amherst New Hampshire’s Problems…Are there? Problems? — GraniteGrok()

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