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Somers Selectmen Question Makeup Of Finance Officer Review Panel

Patch logo Patch 3/5/2021 Tim Jensen
a large brick building with grass in front of a house: Two Somers selectmen stated a panel convened to review the town's chief financial officer should contain members chosen by the appropriate boards. © Tim Jensen/Patch Two Somers selectmen stated a panel convened to review the town's chief financial officer should contain members chosen by the appropriate boards.

SOMERS, CT — A question about the makeup of a committee charged with appointing a town treasurer rankled members of the Somers Board of Selectmen over the last few minutes of a meeting Thursday night.

Selectman Tim Keeney brought up the subject concerning a panel formed to review treasurer Michael Marinaccio, who has been the town's chief financial officer since Dec. 2013.

Keeney referenced Chapter 5, Section 20 of the town charter, added in 2006 and amended in 2013, which states:

There shall be a Treasurer serving a term of two years reviewable annually by the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen shall establish and periodically review a written job description for the Treasurer including any required certifications, licenses, or degrees. The Treasurer shall act as the Director of Finance and the Chief Financial Officer of the Town and shall perform all duties and functions prescribed to Town Treasurers in the Connecticut General Statutes and shall report to the Board of Selectmen. A panel comprised of one member of the Board of Finance, one member of the Board of Selectmen, and one non-elected individual with a background in finance chosen by the other two members shall submit a nomination to the Board of Selectmen for appointment as Treasurer. Should the nominated candidate fail to be appointed for any reasons, the panel shall then reconvene and submit subsequent nominations until a candidate is seated.
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Keeney pointed out that First Selectman Bud Knorr and Board of Finance member Joe Tolisano were essentially hand-picked to serve on the panel, and that they had already decided who the third member would be.

"The Board of Selectmen ought to be deciding who that person is going to be for the selectmen, and the Board of Finance ought to be deciding who is going to be the representative for the Board of Finance," Keeney said.

Knorr responded, "We tried to find somebody who had financial experience...," but Keeney interrupted him by saying, "Because of the fact you work so closely with Mike and have for years, it's not really an objective position you have. You may not be the best person to be on this committee."

Knorr retorted, "That's your opinion, Tim. I historically have always followed this procedure."

Participating in the meeting via telephone, Selectman Tim Potrikus echoed Keeney's feeling, questioning whether Knorr should serve on the panel. Keeney suggested either he or Potrikus should represent the selectmen, and the full finance board should decide on their representative.

Discussion was tabled until the next Board of Selectmen meeting on March 18.

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