Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wake Me When It's Over

alarm clock

a clock with a bell or buzzer that can be set to sound at aparticular timeas to awaken someone.
1690–1700 Unabridged 
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011. 

OK, enough.

I understand the whole "paper trail" thing.  Believe me, I do, but we are beyond that now.

In December I posted an article about the far from glowing annual evaluation that our Town Administrator, Shaun Suhoski had received from the selectmen.  The evaluation came with a warning.  Tardiness was a major issue in the evaluation, and was addressed when the evaluation was presented to Suhoski.  Now, a month and a half later he has been suspended, with pay, for that major issue, tardiness.

This is the most basic piece of maturity one makes as they leave their teenage years.  One learns to get their butt out of bed in the morning for class, or work, or fail the class, and look for another job.  It is that simple.  It's a learning thing like eating with utensils.  When one does not catch on after a short time, and is still practicing the same poor behavior twenty years later, then there is either a physiological / psychological reason, a reason concerning family, or personal life we are unaware of, and not privy to, or simply it is because because they don't give a rats ass.

I want to believe it is anything other than the latter, however, if it were anything else, I think that the selectmen would be aware, and would have addressed it.  The 5 day suspension proves that it is a matter that Suhoski is in control of, or maybe not.

Either way, looks like it will be a long year here in town.  (sigh).

Article published Feb 9, 2011 in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Town administrator removed from duties for 5 days

STURBRIDGE —  Town Administrator Shaun A. Suhoski will not be at work for five business days, most likely the result of a disciplinary action taken by selectmen for what they regard as his excessive tardiness.

Mr. Suhoski began temporarily sitting out of the top municipal position as of today.

He is due back in the role of town administrator at 9 a.m. next Wednesday. His contract says that any suspension would be with pay.

In Mr. Suhoski’s absence, Police Chief Thomas J. Ford has been designated as the acting town administrator.

“At any time the town administrator is going to be out of town or out of the office for an extended period of time, the charter allows the town administrator to designate an employee or town official as town administrator, whether it be vacation, personal or any other time of leave,” Mr. Suhoski said. “And this has happened frequently in the past.”

Late Monday night, selectmen went into executive session with Mr. Suhoski to discuss a personnel matter — one involving him.

Four of the five selectmen attended the executive meeting.

“I was the subject of the executive session. I was the only other public official, besides the selectmen, there,” Mr. Suhoski said. “It had to do with me and I cannot comment on executive session.”

In October, the board voted that he arrive at work by 9 a.m., but Mr. Suhoski has acknowledged often coming in later.

Mr. Suhoski, who was named town administrator last February, received a mediocre, 11-category performance evaluation from selectmen in December. It included seven poor ratings and two unacceptables. He did not receive any ratings characterized as excellent, good or acceptable.

Some of the comments in the four-page evaluation include “frequently tardy for work and meetings, thus demonstrating a lack of consideration for the time of others,” and “his frequent lack of availability.”

Before his position in Sturbridge, Mr. Suhoski had been Ayer town administrator since 2006. Mr. Suhoski succeeded James J. Malloy, who left the town administrator post after 14 years to become Westboro town manager. 

© 2011 Worcester Telegram & Gazette


  1. He needs to get another gig. We're paying him for his suspension? I might understand that if there was a question as to whether or not he was "guilty of the crime," but there is no question - correct? How many chances does this guy get on our dime? UNFAIR!

  2. Suhoski was chronically late for work when he was Town Administrator in Ayer. It made it difficult to get work done that required his input. He seems to consider "time away from work" to be a priority; his contract even provided for a sabbatical. It was a huge relief when he skipped town. I figure someone nudged him out behind the scenes.

  3. Other than the tardiness, which is good reason for the progressive discipline and bad press... Mr. Suhoski's leave without pay and other standard contract language is a moot point. Seems to me he has choices to make and he will either continue on the path he is on to termination or make a change. Kicking him while he's down mentality is just wrong on so many levels. I like to see people do well. Turn around a bad situation and succeed! He was hired for many of his positive qualities I am sure and if not then. The BOS is to blame. Let him try to do the right thing and mend his ways. Isn't that what you would want for yourself? If it doesn't happened then the appropriate action will be taken, as it should. But, until that time comes let's be positive and hopeful and see what that kind of behavior brings. It's okay to be good to one another in this life.

  4. Agree, however there is a long history of the behavior that goes back beyond his hire in Sturbridge. Not so much kicking when he is down, but enforcing the contract after repeated warnings. Obviously, there is more to this than meets the public eye.

  5. A quick glance at Suhoski's Face Book page just about knocked me off my chair. The first movie he has listed on his page is Ferris Beuler's Day Off! No, I am not making this up. Something weird seems to be going on...


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