Public Works Letter
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Total Lack of Professionalism on the Part of the Town Manager
WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR
The Town Council, by Charter, is responsible for policing the conduct and professionalism of the managerial staff of the Town of Lisbon. Of course, this is a “rubber stamp” council who would never dare to sanction the Town Manager for his lack of professionalism or conduct. Eldridge has on several occasions been inappropriate in his official capacity as Town Manger.
The first, I remember is when he sent a demanding letter to Mrs. Dot Fitzgerald requiring her to produce documentation to support the recall of Bowie. This was nothing more than harassment because Eldridge was the custodian of the documents he was requesting. How stupid can you get? I requested the Town Council take steps to sanction Eldridge for this misuse of his office. The council decided this was acceptable conduct and did nothing to protect the citizens of Lisbon from being harassed by Eldridge.
The next time, I can remember is when Eldridge came running into the Code Enforcement Office and got in my face for a situation in which I did not follow protocol in seeking information. It was a misunderstanding between Mrs. Maloy and me which we had corrected. The fault was not totally mine because a town employee asked if she could help me in the absence of the Finance Officer and I said yes. However, Eldridge charged me and was yelling in my face in front of several staff employees and residents who were present. I reported this incident to the Chairman of the Town Council Mark Lunt and nothing was done about this unprofessional conduct and totally inappropriate action on Eldridge’s part. Once again, the rubber stamp council took no action and apparently accepted Eldridge’s action.
Now, on June 9, 2011, Eldridge put his managerial skills to work by sending an internal email to the head of the Public Works Department calling one of the town’s employees an idiot. Defaming any town employee by calling them an idiot was never in my training as a manager. Defaming employees should be a serious offense by any manager and the Town Council should take extreme measures to put a stop to this continued unacceptable behavior by Eldridge. In most cases, the individual who defamed the employee would normally be fired for conduct unbecoming a professional Town Manager. I believe this is grounds for a law suit if the individual was to push the issue. However, I guarantee you this rubber stamp council will not take any serious action against Eldridge.
Next, let’s take a look at the professionalism of Leighton, the new head of Public Works. Instead of taking the appropriate action himself, he passed the buck to one of his subordinates to take action. If you notice on the email, Leighton did not provide any instruction or guidance to his subordinate as to what Leighton felt was appropriate action. This clearly demonstrates “cronyism” because this individual was put in charge of the Public Works Department and received an 8% pay increase to perform the duties as Department Head. Leighton had no clue as to what to do so he passed it on to the real Department Head Button Beal. Incompetence by a department head is not a trait of a qualified professional and clearly demonstrates Leighton’s lack of qualifications.
I realize it is only a pipe dream to think this council will do what is necessary to correct this constant abuse of power and the total lack of professionalism on the part of the Town Manager.
Larry A. Fillmore
Public Works Letter