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ABOUT TOWN: Dept. Heads Say Goodbye to Town Manager, While One Announces She is Leaving

Welcome to "About Town with Mark Snyder," a column that will keep you up to the minute with what's what, who's who and what's going on around town. If you see or hear something we could use here, let us know by sending an e-mail to pmpco@aol.com.

As Town Manager is set to , department heads joined their boss at a luncheon in his honor at on Washington St., on the afternoon of March 29.

The department heads in Town remain solidly behind Crimmins and have already voiced their concern about the future of Stoughton without him in the top seat.

Their letter, dated February 17th and sent to Selectman Chairman John Stagnone and the Board of Selectmen, to "bring about a reconsideration of the recent resignation of Town Manager, Frank Crimmins."

The letter went about to say, "During the past two years, Frank has instituted many dramatic and profound changes within Town government. Although there has been periodic grumbling by some, in the end these changes have greatly improved the daily operations of every department in Town. Change is often difficult to embrace, but we the undersigned, have seen Town government transformed in a short period of time into a business model that is now run in a completely transparent, efficient, cost-effective and professional manner."

The letter, which was signed by 14 Department Heads, wasn't acted upon by Selectmen, and Crimmins chose to stick to his guns and leave the position to pursue success in the .

Twelve department heads went to LaStoria on Thursday for the luncheon.

Shown in the photo—taken by a waiter with Chief Shastany's phone—were (L to R): COA/Youth Commission Director Karen Hall; Town Engineer Ben Feehan; Public Health Director Lisa Parent; Town Accountant Bill Rowe; DPW Superintendent John Batchelder; Veteran's Agent Mike Pazyra; Crimmins (center), Police Chief Paul Shastany; Building Maintenance Supervisor Bob Grover; Town Planner Noreen O'Toole; Building Inspector Tom McGrath; Library Director Pat Basler; and Acting Chief Procurement Officer Lindsay Pope.

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VNA/PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR TO DEPART: One of Stoughton's most talented and effective department heads is leaving for a better opportunity closer to home.

Lisa Parent who has led the Stoughton Visiting Nurses and the Stoughton Public Health Department to high favorability in the community, and million dollar surpluses that were the subject of town meeting, which tried to tap some of it for the general fund, is going to help run a bigger agency.

She'll become the quality improvement director at the Community VNA in Attleboro in May. Parent is a resident of Fairhaven, MA.

Parent said she wasn't actively looking for another job.

"The opportunity presented itself," she told me Friday morning.

When asked if she felt anyone presently in the department could step up and take it over, she said, "Absolutely. We have people who could step right into the job. They know the community and the clients."

She said it was "a big decision" and she is going to meet with Human Resources Director Martin McNamara to give him her input into the situation.

This vacancy will come at a time when the town will be run by Attorney Joseph Feaster, Jr. as . Anyone stepping into the VNA/Public Health department has very big shoes to fill.

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