Salisbury Town Manager Neil Harrington Needs to Step Down ~ VALLEY PATRIOT EDITORIAL (03-23)


It is clear that Salisbury Town Manager Neil Harrington has completely checked out on the people of Salisbury as he trapses all over the City of Salem, Massachusetts running for mayor.

And that may be a good thing for the people of Salisbury.

The man who approved and pushed a tax-payer funded “boardwalk to nowhere” and gave cushy construction contracts to political insiders, is also the same guy who had to be ordered by the Secretary of State to turn over public documents to the press.

Even after being called on the carpet by State Senator Katy Ives, and promising her he would release financial documents from the town, Harrington continued to conceal the public records and stonewall the press about his suspicious spending habits.

Now, our Valley Patriot researchers have unearthed documents showing that Harrington has not filed state-mandated Annual Town Reports from fiscal years 2002 through 2007, and also failed to file Annual Town Reports from 2016 to 2022.

This is not only a violation of town charter; it’s a violation of state law.

Every other town manager in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has to do an annual town financial report. But, not Neil Harrington. Neil doesn’t have to do mandated town reports because nobody holds him accountable.

He has, and has always had, his own personal bobbleheads on the Board of Selectmen to do his bidding and look the other way when he doesn’t do his job.

In fact, the years that Harrington actually DID do the Annual Town Reports (2012 to 2015), he only did them because the Valley Patriot filed complaints with Secretary of State Galvin’s office and was forced to release them. That is, after claiming they were not public records, then illegally redacting information when he did release the records, prompting another scolding by Secretary Galvin’s office.

The fact is, a town manager in Massachusetts has very few job duties that are required by law and town charter. The mandated Annual Town Reports are among those duties, and Neil Harrington hasn’t even bothered to do them.

We believe that Salisbury Town Manager Neil Harrington’s actions, (or inactions as it were) show that he has zero interest in serving the people of Salisbury or even doing the basic day to day tasks of being a town manager.

As such, Neil Harrington needs to step down and concentrate on doing what he loves the most – talking about himself on the campaign trail in Salem.

The people of Salisbury deserve a full-time town manager who will do the Annual Town Reports, be transparent about public spending, and spend his time working for the people of Salisbury, not Salem, Massachusetts.

The bobbleheads on the Board of Selectmen may not tell you this, but the man for that job is no longer Neil Harrington. ◊