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Upton to Determine if Treasurer/Collector to be Appointed

Article 10 on Upton's Annual Town Meeting Warrant is seeking the approval of residents to change the Treasurer/Collector's position from elected to appointed. The Board of Selectmen has publically endorsed the change, however, Treasurer/Collector Ken Glowacki disagrees with the measure.

The Board began mulling the idea of appointing the position when an auditor's report recommended it three years ago and has continued to do so since then. Part of the auditor's letter states "While the current Treasurer/ Collector possesses the skills necessary to support this position, future elected Treasurer Collectors may not. The Town has less than 7,000 residents, which limits the available talent pool capable of being elected as Town Treasurer Collector."

The Selectmen have repeatedly stated the proposed change is not a reflection of Glowacki's abilities but about the town's future. The Board has questioned the possibility of no one running for the position if at some point Glowacki leaves his post. "For the past few years, there are far too many elected positions not challenged, or worse, situations where there are no candidates. Society is becoming more complex and there are fewer people wanting to, or able to, hold office. An appointment to this position eliminates the risk factor," said the Board collectively in a press release.

However, Glowacki has stated he opposes the change for several reasons. "The article presumes there isn't enough talent in town for someone to take this position and that no one is willing to run," he said, adding that he does plan to run for another three year term next year.

Glowacki is also upset that if the article passes it will take away the residents right to elect their Treasurer/Collector saying, "It presumes the citizens don't have the knowledge to choose someone."

Selectman Ken Picard said appointing the Treasurer/Collector is not meant to take anything away from residents. "We're not trying to take away the rights of the voters," he said. "Policy makers should be elected. The Treasurer/Collector is a policy implementer. He (Glowacki) implements policy."

Glowacki also feels that as an appointed official he will no longer have the opportunity to speak out about issues he disagrees with. "It really shuts down the independent voice that allows me to speak out against things." Glowacki says his opposition to the article is not personal. "It's about the issue itself."

Picard says the measure is about the future of the Upton. "It's just good general practice," he said. "These days, towns are handling millions of dollars. This will safeguard the financial resources of the community."

If the article passes, Glowacki will continue in his position for another year until his elected term is up. If residents choose to make the position appointed, he will then have the opportunity to pursue the post annually. More information on Article 10 is posted on the town's Web site at www.uptonma.gov.




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