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Auditor’s Report Recommends Appointing Collector/Treasurer in Upton

Since 2011, an audit report has been recommending the town of Upton appoint its Collector/Treasurer's position rather than allowing residents to elect the post. During the last three years, the Board of Selectmen has held brief discussions on the subject and once again, touched on it during a February 18 meeting.

During the meeting, Town Accountant Kenny Costa discussed the June 30, 2013 Audit Report from Roselli, Clark & Associates and reviewed the recommendation. "It should be an appointed position by the Town Manager or the Board of Selectmen rather than elected," Costa read from the report.

He added that current Treasurer/Collector Ken Glowacki does have the abilities to serve in the position, but it is becoming a more specialized profession which requires certifications, including one from the Massachusetts Treasurer/Collectors Association. Costa added that due to Upton's small population of approximately 7,000 residents, the pool of qualified elected applicants is limited. On the other hand, Costa noted residents would lose their say on who serves in the position if it were appointed.

Glowacki was in attendance during the discussion and had several things to say about the report. "I disagree with the recommendation," he told the Board. He added, if he were to retire or resign in the future, "I really think there is enough talent in town that you would be able to get someone who is local."

Glowacki stressed having an elected individual residing in the community was a benefit to residents. "I think being part of the town makes you sensitive to what's going on," he explained. Additionally, he expressed his concern that residents would be giving up their opportunity to participate in the election process.

Selectman Robert Fleming said he was uneasy with an elected individual being in charge of $17 or $18 million worth of the town's money. "I get very insecure if a candidate ran on a popularity contest and didn't' have the skills and got elected," he said. "We want the most qualified person and that might mean going out and hiring someone."

Fleming then cited the example when the Board of Selectmen realized they could not run the town on a part-time basis. "That's why we went to the Town Manager form of government," he said. Last year, the town also voted to appoint the Town Clerk's position instead of electing it.

During the conversation, Glowacki stated he does have plans to seek out the position again next year when his term is up. "This is not a personal indictment on you," said Fleming to Glowacki. "We're thinking about the future." The Board agreed to further investigate the Collector/Treasurer's position.


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