BETHEL – Following an executive session at Monday night’s special meeting, selectmen issued a statement about why they decided not to renew Town Manager Scott Cole’s contract.

Selectmen wrote: “We believe that Mr. Cole has done a good job in Bethel the past 10 years.

“His departure is taken with regret. Nevertheless, after weighing the many and varied pros and cons present in such a decision, we believe that non-renewal best serves the town’s interest.”

Cole served as Bethel’s town manager since June 1, 1999, when he was hired under a two-year employment agreement. Selectmen subsequently authorized two four-year agreements in 2001 and 2005. The latter ends on June 30, 2009.

According to the last contract, the board can retain Cole’s services through June 30 or for an interim period beyond that date if required.

Because the agreement doesn’t require the board to explain its decision to not renew Cole’s contract, Selectmen Stanley Howe, chairman, Dennis Doyon, vice chairman, Donald Bennett, Jack Cross and Robert Everett chose not to disclose their reasoning after speaking with the town attorney at Monday night’s meeting.

In another matter, selectmen were to discuss the process to hire Cole’s replacement at Monday’s meeting but instead tabled that to their next regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 9, in the town office.


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