NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

April 29, 2013

Local races, library, Senate vote on ballot tomorrow

Salisbury Town Notebook
Angeljean Chiaramida

---- — Voters have a big day tomorrow. It’s the day of the town’s annual spring election. To be decided is the five-person race for two selectmen’s seats and the two-person race for town moderator, as well as whether the plans to build a new library will go forward.

Also on the ballot is a special senatorial primary. Voters will pick the final list of candidates to run to replace former U.S. Sen., and current Secretary of State, John Kerry.

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For nearly a decade, Town Manager Neil Harrington’s performance evaluations have been stellar, with scores in the mid- to high nine range, on a scale from one to 10.

This year, for the first time since he was hired in 2003, Harrington received a mediocre appraisal, with scores averaging from the 7.4 to 8.4 in categories of general administration, external relationships and personal characteristics. As in the past, all five selectmen rated Harrington on 25 specific responsibilities in the three categories.

“In all three categories the scores are below last year’s average numbers,” Selectman Henry Richenburg said to Harrington at the selectmen’s meeting. “In the General Administration area, improvement needs to happen in the area of leadership and supervision. In Personal characteristics area, focusing on making decisions in a more timely manner needs to be worked on.”

Areas selectmen want Harrington to work on includes getting better communications between town departments, implementing department head performance evaluations and being open to suggestions by others.

But selectmen applauded his financial management during hard times and the continued success getting government grants, like the $3-plus million grant for the proposed new library. Richenburg also congratulated him on his professional conduct as town manager.

Harrington said in the past he’d never responded in writing to his performance review, but this year he would. He expressed his disappointment that some of the selectmen chose to use his evaluation as a way to cite their “philosophical” differences with the considerable authority Salisbury’s Town Charter assigns to the town manage, as opposed to the selectmen.

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There’s some very good news coming out of the math department at Salisbury Elementary School, according to math specialist Kathy Comins. Salisbury Elementary School students took first place at the recent Elementary School Math Meet with Rowley’s Pine Grove School and Newbury Elementary School.

Each school has a math team comprised of fifth- and sixth-graders who meet weekly to practice a variety of problem-solving skills and strategies. Salisbury’s winning math team includes Miles O’Grady, Cameron Gilroy, Sam Volpone, Jaryd Plante, Sam Rennick, Matt Duncan, Gracie Burnim and Rachel Phillips.

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Join the Salisbury and Newburyport chambers of commerce at a networking mixer Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Seaglass Restaurant, located at Ocean Front North at Salisbury Beach.

RSVP at salisburychamber@aol.com.

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Named in honor of a beloved late Triton Regional High School teacher, the Christopher Haven Foundation will hold a fundraising event and Egg Launch Competition from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at Salisbury Elementary School, with 100 percent of the money raised going to the One Fund, to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

A physics teacher, Christopher Haven passed away 12 years ago, and his former students formed the foundation to honor his memory to inspire innovation in science and engineering, said foundation President Nick Mosher. But in light of the tragedy that took place in Boston, the group feels raising money for such a worthy cause is in the spirit of the foundation.

The Christopher Haven Foundation is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity; for more information on the foundation or the event (postponded from April 27), visit the website www.chrishaven.orgm or call 978-594-5002.

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The Salisbury Warrant Advisory Committee meets tonight at 6:30 in the Colchester Auditorium of Town Hall. The meeting will address the final version of the town’s operating budget for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

The operating budget will be one of many questions voted upon at the upcoming Spring Town Meeting on Monday, May 20. The warrant will be posted on Friday.

The Warrant Advisory Committee will hold public hearings on all the questions of the warrant on Monday, May 6, at 6:30 p.m. in the Colchester Auditorium.

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At a recent meeting of the Massachusetts Lions Clubs in Marshfield, the Salisbury Lions Club was honored and given the award as the best small club in the commonwealth, according to Salisbury club President Chuck Coburn.

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Angeljean Chiaramida covers Salisbury for The Daily News. She can be reached at achiaramida@newburyportnews.com or at 978-462-6666, ext. 3271.