To the editor of THE EAGLE:
I recently read with interest an Oct. 28 article in The Eagle regarding the Otis Police Department and its chief of police, Roberta Sarnacki. How refreshing it is to see that her own officers have asked the Selectboard to give her a three-year appointment! With several South County police departments in turmoil, it is nice to see one functioning so well.
Sarnacki is in a tough position due to the fact that she is also a member of the Otis Board of Selectmen. In my opinion, a one-year appointment does not allow the chief to act freely in her role as a Selectwoman. Think about it, with a "reappointment" hanging over her head every single year, it becomes very political. She has to be very careful if she disagrees with either of the board members on any given topic.
She also has to be careful in her role of chief. She has to be careful that she doesn't pull over any friends or relatives of anyone who makes decisions for the town.
She can't vote on her own reappointment each year. If the other two board members are happy with her performance as chief, it makes perfect sense to grant her a three-year appointment for a job well done. That is, if they are interested in doing what is best for the town. Several other towns have offered three-year terms to their chiefs in an attempt to de-politicize the role, in fact, the town of Egremont just offered a three-year contract to their new chief.