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Salem town manager, selectmen work to improve communication

SALEM — Town Manager Keith Hickey is asking selectmen to be more forward with him when it comes to requesting information.

Earlier this week, Hickey made note of a conversation at the May 16 Budget Committee meeting between committee member Robert Bryant and Selectman Stephen Campbell. During the exchange, Bryant questioned the manner in which Assistant Town Manager Leon Goodwin and the town selected new building inspection software because a bid was not put out for the selection of the software. Hickey said he believed Bryant mischaracterized the manner in which the town went about the process of selecting the software.

Hickey said there was also a comparison made about the way information is provided to the School Board by Superintendent Michael Delahanty, as opposed to the way Hickey provides information to selectmen.

“I have asked you time and time again if there is any information you wish for me to provide that I’m not,” Hickey said. “When I had my annual evaluation with the board and there were comments about improved communication, I asked for some examples about what I could do to better provide information. I haven’t heard anything.”

Hickey said he has spoken to Delahanty about how he disperses budget information to the School Board.

“He indicated that what I’m providing is as much as, and sometimes more than, what they provide,” said Hickey. “I’m not trying to compare one board with another, I’m simply asking if there is any information you don’t feel like you are getting that you would like to see, I’m happy to provide it. I just need to know what it is.”

Selectmen Chairman Pat Hargreaves asked the other members of the board to CC him on all emailed information requests to Hickey as a way to help keep track of the information being requested.

“Like Keith said, we hit him on the communication and this here is to help him communicate with us,” Hargreaves said.



Hickey was a finalist for the town manager position in Dracut, Mass., earlier this year, but that job went to Gloucester, Mass., administrator James Duggan.

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