Byline: James F. Russell
SPENCER - Town Administrator Carter Terenzini takes aim at "Maggots of Malice" in a memorandum he distributed this week to municipal employees, selectmen and colleagues.
Mr. Terenzini's memorandum, titled "The Rest of the Story," discusses an affair he had with a woman he supervised, refers to an administrator's position he applied for but did not get, and suggests that the job recruiter double-crossed him. "I have drawn the wrath of the local Maggots of Malice," the memo, dated Aug. 19, says. The memo does not identify them.
The Telegram & Gazette reported Aug. 18 that officials in Oberlin, Ohio, where Mr. Terenzini was seeking the city manager's job, removed him from consideration. Oberlin officials said the action was taken last week because Mr. Terenzini - despite being asked by the recruiter if he might be carrying negative baggage - failed to disclose the affair and the private reprimand Spencer selectmen handed him in 2005. Officials said Mr. Terenzini applied for the Oberlin job in March.
In an interview with the newspaper Aug. 17, Mr. Terenzini initially said he did not wish to comment on the Oberlin decision to drop him from consideration, where he was among eight finalists. Mr. Terenzini said it was a personnel matter, and reporting on it represented "yellow journalism."
He said he did not disclose the affair to the Ohio recruiter because "It was not requested. ... This was not asked for."
Mr. Terenzini later adds: "By this becoming such an incident in the other community, and many thanks to the local Sultans of Sensationalism, ours was forced to live through it again...."
The Spencer administrator did not return calls to his office yesterday seeking clarification of his memo. Calls placed to Joshua Kim Associates, the Ohio-based recruiter, were not immediately returned yesterday. Oberlin Councilor Anthony J. Mealy said in an interview last week that Mr. Terenzini "should have let somebody know upfront. To leave information like that out, I don't think was very fair."
Contacted last night, Spencer Selectman Peter J. Durant said Mr. Terenzini "wrote that in response to an article in the paper, and as far as I am concerned this is a closed issue and the board needs to move on with the business of running the town." Mr. Durant declined to comment on Mr. Terenzini's reference to Maggots of Malice.
Referring to the affair, Mr. Terenzini wrote in the memo that "I do not pretend that how I deal with the issue of my original lapse in judgment is an excuse for the fact that it happened. However, the continuing pillaring (sic) some want to subject us all to is the unfortunate plight of communities and public employees when our lives are turned into pinatas for the press and others. This is the case where I have drawn the wrath of the local Maggots of Malice and the press is more than willing to release illegally obtained personnel documents supposedly sealed in fairness to the employee."
According to the Nov. 28, 2005, minutes of an executive session, Spencer selectmen had three choices: fire Mr. Terenzini, suspend him or issue a written reprimand. Selectmen voted to privately reprimand Mr. Terenzini, "citing the board's belief that the Administrator's conduct constituted a potential violation of MGL c. 268A Standards of Conduct and was evidence of an egregious lack of good judgment on his part to the detriment to the town." Selectmen ordered him to "attend a seminar on employee harassment."
Mr. Terenzini found himself in hot water when he applied for a job in Ashland in 2004. His resume appeared to show he had a bachelor's degree. He later wrote a letter to the chairman of the Ashland selectmen when questions were raised about his education. Mr. Terenzini wrote: "I want to correct this ... I earned an associate's degree."
Selectman Joseph E. DeCoff II said Mr. Terenzini's memo was e-mailed to him Monday.
"That's his spin on his poor choices," Mr. DeCoff said. "I know he is trying to leave, and I wish him the best of luck. Yesterday would not be soon enough." Mr. DeCoff said he is troubled by the administrator's reference to "Maggots of Malice" in the memo to town employees and selectmen.
A copy of a contract shows Mr. Terenzini earns about $95,000 per year.
NAME: SPENCER SELECTMEN
CUTLINE: TOWN ADMINISTRATOR CARTER TERENZINI
March 18, 2015 Published in Local News
Terenzini yesterday confirmed reports of his resignation, saying that he had informed the staff of his decision, and noted "the very wide margin" against the warrant article, but politely declined any further comment.
Terenzini, who began his career in public service in 1973, became town administrator in Moultonborough in 2008 after holding the same position in Spenser, Mass. for nine years. He also was city manager in Mt. Morris, Michigan and town administrator in Castleton, Vermont. Before turning to administration he was commissioner of Community of Economic Development in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and later principal planner and economic analyst with the State of Massachusetts. He earned an associate of arts degree at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and Masters of Business Administration at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.
For much of his tenure in Moultonborough, Terenzini has been the target of suspicion and criticism from a vocal segment of the community who more than once questioned the renewal of his contract. In 2013, 200 petitioners urged the Board of Selectmen not to renew his contract and begin seeking a replacement. This first open effort to oust him began when the Selectboard pursued removal proceedings against two members of the Planning Board — Josh Bartlett and Judy Ryerson — which after much prevarication and dissembling was ultimately revealed to have been initiated by a recommendation from Terenzini.
After dismissing Terenzini's complaint against Bertlett and Ryerson the selectmen discounted the petition and renewed his contract for two years, until March 31, 2016. This year Terenzini's critics took a different tack, seeking to remove him by eliminating his job.
Meanwhile, Terenzini had apparently read the handwriting on the wall for some time. In 2010, he applied for a town administrator's position in Palmer, Mass. A year later he was interviewed for a similar position in Kingston, Rhode Island and in 2012 he was among three finalists for an opening in Wareham, Mass.
NOTE: A recount on Monday confirmed Josh Bartlett as the winner of the second open seat on the Board of Selectmen. On election day, Jean Beadle, chairman of the Advisory Budget Committee polled 374 votes, Bartlett polled 295 votes and Chuck Connell polled 294 votes. Connell requested the recount, which found Bartlett received 296 votes and Connell 294 votes.