Letter: Mayor Spicer’s Compliance with Framingham Charter is ‘Troubling’ and ‘Disappointing’

The following email was sent to Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer this morning, October 19.

It was also sent to the 11-member Framingham City Council, who is holding a special meeting on the Police Chief appointment by the mayor on October 23.

As the email was sent to the entire City Council, it became a public document. Source is printing the email as a letter to the editor.

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Dear Madam Mayor,

I am writing to yourself, the City of Framingham and the Human Resources Department regarding your recent announcement concerning the Framingham Police Chief. Despite the clear, unambiguous language of the Framingham City Charter, indicating that all municipal employment vacancies not covered by civil service law, be posted on the municipal bulletin board for not less than fourteen (14) days, your administration failed to abide by this provision. [See, City of Framingham’s Charter Provisions; Article IX; General Provisions; 15., Notice of Employment Vacancies]

To compound this grievous error, your administration announced the new Framingham Police Chief with much media fanfare prior to posting this position in accordance with the City Charter.

Following the selection and announcement by the Mayor, a posting of the Chief of Police position appeared on the bulletin board outside of the Human Resources Office at 8:40 PM. In an attempt to circumvent the provisions of the City Charter your administration either purposely or negligently posted an advertisement the same evening as the announcement, well outside of the fourteen-day requirement.

It was only after much public outcry, that an employment vacancy announcement for Chief of Police appeared on the City of Framingham’s website.

Despite the announcement’s claim that the Framingham Chief of Police position was open to both internal and external candidates, individuals without a City of Framingham password were unable to access the employment vacancy posting. A common-sense interpretation of this scenario would lead a reasonable person to believe that this was a purposeful tactic designed to prevent potential candidates from applying for the Framingham Chief of Police vacancy.

To acknowledge that the Framingham Chief of Police position is critical to the City’s well-being is rudimentary.

This makes the Mayor’s non-compliance with the requirements of the City’s Charter regarding employment all the more troubling and disappointing.

The manner in which the Mayor has conducted herself also negatively impacted many of the well qualified candidates from within the Framingham Police Superior Officers, who were denied an opportunity to apply for this position.

The posting of the employment vacancy, after the Mayor had already officially announced her decision, served to dissuade any potential Framingham Police Superior Officers from applying for fear of retaliation or employment repercussions.

As you well know, the Framingham Police Department is in the midst of a very turbulent time, rife with criminal and civil litigation.

It is noted that the Mayor’s choice for Chief of Police, Steven Trask, was in a command position under the previous administration and is interwoven with much of the criminal and civil litigation which has yet to be resolved.

It defies logic to fill such an important position as Chief of Police, without abiding by the requirements of the City Charter and conducting a proper vetting process.

As I am sure you are aware, at this critical time in the Framingham Police Department, transparency is paramount.

Unfortunately, based upon your recent actions in announcing the choice of Chief of Police, without proper posting requirements leaves one with the perception that you are not interested in following the City Charter, transparency or public participation in this crucial position.

Scott A. Brown

President 

Framingham Police Superior Officers Association

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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