Wareham Town Administrator institutes hiring freeze

By Matthew Bernat | Feb 21, 2017

Faced with skyrocketing healthcare increases, Town Administrator Derek Sullivan has instituted a municipal hiring freeze.

The freeze took effect last week under Sullivan’s order. Positions funded using money from the town’s general fund will be affected, meaning departments that rely on user fees to pay select personnel may still hire, Sullivan said.

“As we’re continuing to go into the fiscal year 2018 budget, and we know there’s not much relief unless something happens with healthcare…anything going forward will need to be reviewed,” Sullivan told Selectmen at the board’s Tuesday night meeting.

Sullivan made the announcement at the urging of Selectman Patrick Tropeano.

Sullivan noted that seasonal positions, such as additional police officers for summer, will go forward as planned because the funds have already been secured.

Otherwise, department heads must obtain Sullivan’s approval before bringing on new hires.

Tuesday’s news arrived three weeks after Sullivan informed Selectmen that the town is facing a dire fiscal challenge. At the beginning of the month, Sullivan told board members that town and school officials must cut nearly $225,000 overall in order to balance the town’s budget.

Before Sullivan’s announcement, town departments requested a $370,000 increase compared to last year. School officials requested a $2 million increase compared to last year.

Comments (6)
Posted by: Newlyaresident | Feb 22, 2017 07:44

It sounds like the priority for the immediate future is to review/renegotiate health care contracts. A previous article listed health care costs increasing $1.6 million for the new fiscal year. Out of control!

Posted by: bob | Feb 22, 2017 09:38

Gee,it sound like the TA got a problem, I thought he switch the town insurance a couple years ago.Maybe he should stop hiring more help in the town hall,or even better close the town hall down,go paperless...

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Feb 22, 2017 10:02

$2 million increase for schools, this is just nuts. Every year we get this same crap. Bring in charter schools!

Posted by: Chaka | Feb 22, 2017 12:41

What about the code enforcement officer that we voted for at the October town meeting? We voted a one time 50k to hire a code enforcement officer to go after all the stuff in town that is illegal, that no one has time to enforce and the fees would pay for the position in the future. The job hasn't even been posted yet. What are they waiting for? We got an hr person, who was a former ambulance chaser lawyer. If there is a hiring freeze, what is her big salary going to?


Posted by: rhbinma | Feb 22, 2017 15:28

It looks like the employees need to start digging deeper in there pockets for healthcare like everyone else. Taxpayers should not be paying for town or state employees health care.

Posted by: Knocked for six | Feb 24, 2017 09:11

I believe the town employees have steadily had to more and another significant one coming soon.

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