To the editor:
It has been reported that the Board of Selectmen will not lift the hiring freeze to replace the departing town planner until it has studied the job description. It is incredible that some selectmen question the job description of town planner as though they understand what a town planner does. They want to do “homework” so they can “tweak” the town planner’s job description. This is not micro management as suggested. It is interference. The Planning Board is an elected position not subject to management by any other town department.
Selectmen should remember that Town Meeting approved the new position of assistant town planner because it was recognized that the heavy workload left little time available for a town planner to perform some important duties of the position. However, recognizing the tight budgets Westport faces, the Planning Board has kept this position unfilled.
The selectmen should also be aware that there are only two people on the Planning Board staff, and the departure of the town [planner leaves only the principal clerk remaining. The process for replacing a town planner is a long one and should not be delayed. In the meantime, those who seek services will be subjected to extraordinary delays.