WHITMAN — Interim Town Administrator Lisa Green has resigned from that position as well as from her role as assistant town administrator, effective Feb. 5.
“It’s become apparent to me that there’s no growth opportunity for me here in this town,” Green said, adding she was pursuing a new opportunity. “The town has determined to go in a different direction, and I’ve determined it’s time for me to go in a different direction, as well.”
She thanked residents for giving her the honor of representing them over the past four years.
“It’s been a trip and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” she said.
New Town Administrator Lincoln Heineman starts on Monday, Feb. 8.
“I thought that we had a lot of good work done while you were here,” said Selectman Brian Bezanson thanked her for her work. “I know that you’re going to go places and do good things.”
He was joined by Selectman Chairman Dan Salvucci, who expressed his disappointment but that it was her decision.
“I would like to [express] my feeling of regret that she is leaving, but that’s her choice. She wants to further her career and that’s her choice the way she does it,” said Salvucci.
Green had applied for the town administrator position, for which Lincoln Heineman was hired on Dec. 22.
An update to the COVID policy for town employees means new guidelines for employees pertaining to extended sick leave and travel procedures.
The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday, Jan. 19 voted to replace current protocols with the existing policy, after several procedures and state and local health regulations were incorporated. Bezanson, whose wife is a town employee, abstained.
“The policy is really a compiled policy,” said Counsel Peter Summers. “You had several different policies addressing travel, addressing workplace procedures. This was an attempt to compile everything into one policy, along with some updates based on recent guidance from the state — DPH requirements — as well as review from your emergency personnel and your health personnel in town.”
Salvucci said Police Chief Tim Hanlon had some questions pertaining to emergency situations, as well as when an employee could be released from quarantine, that have been ironed out.
Another question from Union Steward Joanne Wing of OPEIU Local 6 regarding paid administrative leave or extension of leave allowed employees in other towns. The board can address a situation where an employee might run out of sick time on a case-by-case basis, said Selectman Justin Evans. The board had considered postponing action on late adjustments, until Selectmen could take more time to review the changes.
“Nothing here seems earthshattering or that different from what we’re already doing, it’s just codified and written down,” said Evans. “I think it’s prudent to vote this and get it in the hands of our employees.”
Summers said one part does involve procedure following workplace exposure to people who have recently traveled. Close contacts required to quarantine will either be asked to work remotely by their department head or be entitled to additional paid time off.
“I think there’s a difference between someone who is quarantining after close contact vs. someone who is really sick,” Summers said.
Whitman’s COVID-19 numbers are at 148 cases in various stages of quarantine and no new cases among town employees.
“I have not had any reports of any cluster of COVID cases,” Green said.