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High employee turnover costs Bristol knowledge and money

To The Daily Sun,

Why is the town of Bristol losing so many talented town employees? What I am talking about is, in just a little over a year the town has lost the town administrator, three finance officers, a human resource person, several police officers, land use, assistant tax collector, highway/water department personnel, par-time maintenance person, and, of course, the fire chief, who just resigned after being on paid administrative leave for 3 1/2 months.

Bristol has lost almost all the executive staff with all those years of knowledge. By my count there are at least 15 employees that left our employment. That is about an 18 percent turnover rate, which is not very good, and costs us a lot to replace.

So, why is Bristol losing so many employees? Is it the pay, benefits, working conditions, management, other?

I do not believe it is pay or benefits because many of the employees were here for years. Working conditions? Maybe, with the mass exodus I am sure in some cases the working conditions have been stressful. In my opinion this screams of a management problem and the selectmen are the managers. If we could only be flies on the wall at all the non-public meetings they had during this time, we would really learn the truth.

It should make you wonder what in the world is going on with our selectboard. Why the mass exodus? What are they doing wrong or not doing at all? Again, I wish I could have heard some of those non-public meetings. When it comes down to it, it is the Selectboard's responsibility to manage the employees and the town. It should not be left up to the town administrator and department heads to do this work. Each select board member gets $3,200 a year and now I am starting to wonder for what.

You, the voters, need to decide what you want and vote in March. Having a high employee turnover costs us in knowledge, expertise and money. We can fix this by electing new selectboard members and getting Bristol back in balance with its employees. The people of Bristol can make the difference by voting and coming to town meeting in March. Help stop the mass exodus and disorder in our town.

John Sellers

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