Smithfield Council ignores will of the people on Personnel Board vote

Smithfield Council ignores will of the people on Personnel Board vote

In 2008, the voters of Smithfield, in one of the highest election turnouts in years, overwhelmingly voted in favor of the creation of a Personnel Board. This Board was to be tasked with overseeing municipal hiring and make the process transparent and less political. Five years later, it remains a "Phantom Board," and the concerned citizens in favor of a more merit-based hiring system remain perplexed as to why this issue has been ignored.

There is no other way to phrase this, other than stating the obvious: the Republican Town Council majority has completely ignored their sworn duty to serve the will of the people they govern. The people have spoken, and council members have ignored them, and the citizenry who oppose political cronyism are left to wonder why?

Why do they oppose a volunteer board of human resource professionals that will de-politicize and improve the town's hiring practices? I find it hard to believe that there are not three willing, well-qualified citizens in the town willing to serve in this function. Furthermore, I find it as incredibly hard to believe that any concerns over the language of this amendment would take five years to resolve. Common sense would tell you these are just pretenses.

I urge all concerned citizens of Smithfield to read last week's article, "Smithfield Town Council bedeviled by Personnel Board issues," and take notice. It should not be a partisan issue to demand that the Town Council enact and enforce voter approved amendments to the Town Charter. It should be common sense. Demand the government this town deserves, and demand that the Personnel Board be created to ensure that any and all employment positions within Smithfield are awarded by merit.

J. Ryan McNelis, Esq.