Dover, NH; Kingman, Arizona; and Kansas City, Mo., will probably look upon South Hadley, Massachusetts and smile.
The Town of South Hadley hired notorious “Schitty Manager” Paul Beecher, and as was inevitable, gave this fraudster some autonomous control over spending on a new library: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/12/south_hadley_town_meeting_will.html.
Beecher, who has throughout his career of mismanaging any municipality unfortunate to employ him, has convinced the Town of South Hadley to give him a checkbook for the new library construction.
“Much of it is routine business,” said Beecher, who assured listeners that any checks he signs would already have been approved by Town Meeting, the Selectboard, school officials or other proper authorities.
I like the “or other proper authorities” loophole in this deal.
In a municipality, what other proper authorities are there?
Let’s list them:
1. Town Meeting means, the legislative body, or in other words – voters.
2. Select Board means current elected Selectmen.
3. School officials could mean anyone in the school in management. That is a nice loophole.
4. “Proper Authorities” is a failsafe position for writing checks for the expenditure of public funds just in case you want to write a few checks for a municipal project that may not have come up during the discussion and vote on any given project.
Paul Beecher signed huge unapproved contracts and retirement packages behind the backs of the elected officials in every municipality in which he has been discovered taking advantage of taxpayers.
South Hadley, Massachusetts has found a way around that problem – let him.