Tom Guerino, Town Administrator of Hadley, Wins Mary Vallati Memorial Award
Tom Guerino faces an uphill climb if he wants to succeed as Hadley’s town administrator, with expanding affordable housing and improving the community center being his top priorities.
He cited as an additional challenge a revised town charter that reduced his authority over the fire department.
Early Life and Education
Guerino identified infrastructure and economic development issues as priorities should contract negotiations go smoothly. He cited strong department heads, commitment to affordable housing in town and DPW facilities as potential assets that require his attention.
But there are still issues in the pipeline, including a lawsuit filed by an ex-firefighter whose firing and transfer to another department were partially reversed by a civil service commission. A letter of reprimand from this board warned Guerino it could make his task of effecting policy or meting out minor discipline more challenging.
Thursday morning, selectmen will meet with three finalists identified by a search firm: Michael McGovern, Joshua A. Garcia and Thomas Guerino who is serving as town administrator of Bourne.
Guerino managed to remain popular in his hometown despite navigating an often hostile political landscape, where character attacks against town government decision makers were commonplace. He was often praised for maintaining financial capabilities, stockpiling reserves and moving away from fulltime selectmen era town management.
During his final tenure, he came under severe criticism for his management style. He kept his calendar private, was unwilling to provide updates on projects under way or completed, and did not regularly attend selectmen meetings for reports on ongoing or completed projects.
Guerino received a written reprimand to be placed into his personnel file for failing to inform either the board or town council about his removal, following local firefighter Justin Lear’s firing for posting comments that included homophobic slurs on his Facebook page.
Achievement and Honors
At their virtual meeting on June 2, the Bedford Mosholu Community Association (BMCA) honored Guerino with their Mary Vallati Memorial Award, an honor that recognizes those who give back to their communities through service projects such as graffiti removal in Bedford Park and Norwood sections of Bronx. Guerino received this honor due to his ongoing efforts cleaning up graffiti in Bedford Park and Norwood sections of Bronx.
In April, Guerino was suspended without pay for six days for authorizing the transfer of an employee in violation of town charter, according to a letter of reprimand from the Board. Some portions were redacted due to privacy considerations.
Guerino boasts of his achievements, such as creating the new public works complex and maintaining financial capabilities while stockpiling reserves, ending fulltime selectmen era, reopening Coady School, and overseeing infrastructure improvements, but his critics point out his poor communication skills and inconsistent decisions affecting employees as hallmarks of success.
As town manager, Guerino coordinated volunteer efforts with his wife and children to rid areas prone to gun violence in his community of any graffiti that might have appeared overnight. They would often leave home at 4 a.m. with paint cans and brushes in hand to tackle any overnight graffiti issues that had surfaced overnight.
Though his term came to an uncertain conclusion, he says he can look back with pride at what has been accomplished during his time as mayor. Notable accomplishments included maintaining fiscal capabilities, building reserves and moving away from fulltime selectmen era; overseeing infrastructure projects; and reopening Coady School among many others.
One paragraph in the reprimand was redacted out of concern that its disclosure could put department members or town counsel members in an untenable situation regarding future disciplinary matters.
Guerino has conducted over 10 trades of Nielsen plc stock over the last 16 years, as revealed in a Form 4 filed with the SEC. As of 8 March 2021 he owned at least 3,971 units.
Guerino earned an estimated annual salary of $169,266.6. He was first hired as interim town administrator in 2005 before officially being given that title four months later.
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