By Carol Britton Meyer
During his annual performance evaluation, Town Administrator Tom Mayo was praised for his work ethic, integrity, and loyalty to the town.
"Tom has really excelled in bringing the town together through this very unexpected COVID-19 situation -- one that had the potential to displace town employees and dramatically upset the delivery of town services," Selectman Joseph Fisher said during the teleconference meeting.
However, thanks in particular to Mayo and Asst. Town Administrator Michelle Monsegur, neither of those scenarios happened. "There was minimal disruption, although I know our local businesses were impacted," Fisher said. "This was not something that anyone was trained or prepared for, and Tom did it."
Selectman Mary Power is perhaps most impressed with Mayo's loyalty to the town, "which he always puts first" and the strong town team that has evolved under his leadership.
"I'm also very pleased with the partnership and relationship Tom has established with our new school superintendent, Paul Austin, which is critical to the running of our town government," Power said.
She also praised Mayo's handling of town affairs during the pandemic: "Every week brings a new set of challenges."
Selectmen Chairman Karen Johnson commended Mayo's handling of what amounts to two or three jobs at one time, including the extra workload brought on by the pandemic, his involvement with the transition of the water system from Aquarion Water Company to town ownership, and his regular duties.
"Tom has been spread thin, and to say he has risen to the occasion would be an understatement," Johnson said. "His open and friendly demeanor make him accessible. He values the people who work for him and for the town. Because of this collegial spirit, when the COVID-19 disaster hit, Tom had the support of his colleagues in jumping in and doing whatever was needed for the good of the town."
One area for improvement, all three Selectmen agreed, is implementing an expanded communications system to ensure all questions, concerns, and comments of citizens are responded to in a timely fashion; that citizens and town boards and committees are kept informed; and that a way is found to keep track of every issue and response. "Other members of the Selectmen's office team can help with this effort," Power said.
After the evaluation wrapped up Mayo quipped, "Can I take a vacation next week?!!"
Mayo said he appreciated "the kind words." At the same time, he noted that "the team we have around us allows the town to run smoothly."
He recalled the promise he made when he was hired as town administrator 2-1/2 years ago. "I said I would always put this town first and make the best decisions [possible] for Hingham. I hope I continue to exceed your expectations. That's my goal -- to live up to the promise I made that night."