Monday, January 4, 2010

Hilton Wastes No Time Shaking Things Up

Minutes after being sworn in as Westbrook's new mayor, Colleen Hilton (D) announced during her inaugural speech that she will not be reappointing Fire Chief Daniel Brock, Recreation Department Director Randy Peters, and Finance Director Susan Rossignol to their respective jobs.

(Update: Adding insult to injury, WMTW's report on Hilton's firing of Daniel Brock mistakenly gives the former fire chief the newly-minted mayor's surname.)

(Update II: The PPH has more on this story, as well as the inauguration as a whole.)

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Election '09: Voters Choose Hilton for Mayor, Dems for Council (November 4, 2009)
Related: Election '09: Colleen Hilton on the Issues (October 30, 2009)
Related: On Brock (January 6, 2009)

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

All Mayor Hilton did was fire Chief Baker's lap dog. Brock was not even a finalist for this position to begin with and he was hired because Baker wanted to run public safety. Blaming him for the decades long problems that have existed in the fire department is nothing but scapegoating.

The democrats (who have controlled the council for the last 20 years) who have run this city are far more culpable for the situation that Brock is. The real shame is that Baker himself was not let go. He is out of control and actually runs the City.

It will be interesting to see who our new Fire Chief is. One can only hope that the process is far more public than the last time when Brock was hired. The public would have been floored to learn that none of the finalists were hired.

The bottom line here is we can herald the changing of the guard all we want. It might appear like the old boy network is gone, but in actuality the more things change, the more they stay the same. She sheeple of Westbrook never seem to catch on to that.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. The City of Westbrook continues to look like a big, fat joke. Always has been, always will be.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Westbrook was a laughing stock before this. In fact this move by the mayor has removed a stain from the City. Brock never should have been hired for the position and internally his management or lack thereof was causing problems. Hilton did her homework.

My observation is that everyone is hailing the end of the Good Ole Boys network and that is not so. Mayor Hilton's father is one of the members of that pack and Coleen is a long time established democrat politician. Hence the more things change, the more they stay the same.

james t said...

While I have the up most respect for Mayor Hilton and hopes she really does want to seek a different course for Westbrook. You can not help but find the inauguration speech troublesome. Inauguration speeches are to be up lifting, offer a new direction and a belief in the new leader. Her decision, to use her moment, to publicly fire people was very distasteful and disappointing. Never would you see a professional sports team publicly fire multiple coaches. When the head coach is let go, the new coach comes in, he tells you we will win and make changes quietly. Same in business. Everyone in Westbrook knows we need resolve and to streamline things. Why play a power card when you don’t need too? Mayor Hilton just put a lot of unneeded pressure on herself and put Westbrook in another questionable story in the media.

She could have simply stated, “In these tough times, we have to make sacrifices that will, in the end, better the future for Westbrook. In the next weeks you will see changes that start this process. While hard decisions, I believe, in the end you will know they were right. We will find ways to simplify government and to bring honor back to all city departments.”

It is disappointing that her speech isn’t even assessable on-line anywhere. It isn’t on the city’s Website? Instead you receive an invitation to her gala. It is a nice gesture to have an open party for all* but her speech should have been a priority to be online to read and interpret.

There are even greater concerns with the appoint of Chief Baker to oversee the fire dept. That is two much power and responsibility for one person. Let alone someone who shouldn’t even be involved with the fire dept. affairs because of conflict of interest. The chief, if he were truly serving Westbrook, should have investigated the allegations that have plagued the fire dept.

I don’t want to get into a different subject about the Chief and his failures. I do hope Mayor Hilton has really thought about these moves and in three month we are seeing the benefit of her discussions and also whether this had to be done publicly to be achieved?

*party is $50 per person with food and music by motor booty

Westbrook Diarist said...

James,

I'll take partial credit for a lack of online presence of the Mayor's speech. She offered it to me two times, but I declined each time.

John

Anonymous said...

James,

It has to be done publicly. That is the role of the Mayor to appoint department heads and it has always happened at every inauguration except no one has had the balls not to reappoint anyone.

David Tapley said...

John,
I fing it a neccessary entity to identify yourself when posting to this site. Let's have open dialogue, and maybe open our minds, instead of these secretative posts. Everybody "man" up. If you find that quote sexist, I don't really care.

Westbrook Diarist said...

David,

I've wrestled with that part of the blogosphere since I started this site.

In fact, there was a stretch of a couple weeks this past fall when I required commenters to register their name (or at least an alias) before commenting. However, I received feedback from some of my commenters that this change in comment settings prohibited them from posting their comments, so I had to scrap that policy.

John

david tapley said...

John,
It takes a few minutes of extra work to register yourself. An anonymous post is the "easy" way out in so many ways. It's constructive dialogue versus nit-picking and bitching. Spend the time, expose yourself, and speak.

Drew Gattine said...

The Press Herald has become an embarrassment, in that regard.

Anonymous said...

DREW?

Skybox212

Drew Gattine said...

Sorry if I was vague.

My point is that I understand there are shy or private people who don't want to attach their names to comments. But if you look at the PPH comments on any article that is at all controversial (let alone political) many, many people use anonymity as a license for rudeness, name-calling and the spread of innuendo and rumor. Almost all PPH posts are anonymous. It still strikes me as strange that a newspaper that requires names and addresses for letters in its print edition would foster such a base level of on-line dialogue.

No one needs to call someone else a "moron" or an "idiot" or a "bimbo" in order disagree with them. It ought to be possible to comment on things going on in your community (or a neighboring community) without calling it a "cess pool".

It's possible to express strong opinions and still be civil, but I think that in a lot of these cases people would be better behaved if they were forced to identify themselves.

Again, I'm not suggesting that everyone who uses a pseudonym is rude.

SueBear said...

Congratulations Mayor Hilton on following through with your campaign promises and being bold enough to take charge from the beginning Only good things will come from a bottom to top shake up, and I for one am very excited to be a part of this next phase of the City's future.

Anonymous said...

One of the degrees that a person can hold for the job posting of Community Service Director is Engineering. Will this individual with the engineering degree have a minor in recreation management or social work?? Let us see if a person with just an engineering background be able to lead a correctly functioning Community Services department. This may cost the city more money than when the department was lead by the former directors. There will have to be enough Assistant Directors to manage the other units within the Community Service Dept.