O’Mara still an Amherst mystery
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Ah, don’t we love mysteries?
Here’s one to ponder:
1. Why don’t we yet know why James O’Mara is apparently no longer the Amherst town administrator even though he is still being paid? What will become of him? Why did officials take the unprecedented step of signing confidentiality agreements? They say they can’t talk about what’s going on with O’Mara because it’s a “personnel issue” but if that’s the case, why do they need to sign these agreements? Sounds like doubling their safety nets.
Think about that. Under the state’s Right to Know Law, officials can hold closed door meetings on personnel issues and can decline to speak about them in public. There’s some sense to that.
But doesn’t that make such issues “confidential?”
And if it does, why sign a piece of paper that says, in essence, “We won’t talk about this because it’s confidential”?
This is another one of those instances where the person most directly involved isn’t talking, either. Of course we refer to O’Mara.
The silence of the principal nearly always leads to speculation, often wild, about what happened and often that is unfair to the person of interest. But heck, why speculate if you can’t go wild, right?
People in Amherst are talking about this, of course.
People in Amherst continue to pay O’Mara’s salary even though he isn’t working in Town Hall.
People in Amherst pay the admittedly miniscule salaries of the selectmen, who aren’t talking.
And people in Amherst are going to be the last to know what the heck is going on, what actually happened, if they ever find out at all.
Legally, this might be correct.
But no one likes it, nor should they.
Town Treasurer Liz Overholt told our Irene Labombarde that people just need to be patient because “when the time is right, the story will be told.”
We believe two things about that statement:
We firmly believe that Liz Overholt firmly believes that to be the case or she wouldn’t have said it. She is not one to dissemble.
We also firmly believe that there’s a good chance she’s wrong.
We’ll be amazed if this story is told.
So, Amherst officials, c’mon: Amaze us.
And the taxpayers.