April 8, 2020

Schwall: ‘I’m Not Town Administrator’

Posted

Rehoboth Selectmen Chairman Gerry Schwall is refuting Dighton-Rehoboth school officials’ claims that he is serving as Interim Town Administrator.

In an e-mail to the Reporter, School Committee Chairperson Katherine Cooper noted Schwall has been “interim Town Administrator since my mom (Helen Dennen, who had served in the position) went on medical leave 2/9/2019.”

“I have not been appointed as an interim town administrator,” Schwall said Thursday. “I don’t want it.”

When asked to comment on the February 4 meeting of the Advisory Finance Committee, School Superintendent Anthony Azar lashed out at town officials: “it was Interim Town Administrator Schwall and Finance Chair (Michael) Deignan who got us into this predicament by using $850,000 of our override to fund their municipal deficit. Also, I have an open dialogue with the Town Administrator from Dighton, but no administrator from Rehoboth.”

Regarding Cooper and Azar’s comments, Schwall believes it’s an attempt to divert attention from the 2021 school budget. Schwall assumed some of the responsibilities of the position when Dennen went on medical leave in 2019. Dennen retired last month. “They can call me President of the United States for all they want but it doesn’t make it true,” Schwall said. “I am merely a volunteer. Now that Miss Dennen has retired, the Board will move forward to fill the vacancy.”

Schwall said he has been providing assistance to the Selectmen’s office and keeping the day to day operations of the town running. “You have to be appointed by the Selectmen as either an interim town administrator or manager,” Schwall noted. “It’s impossible for a Selectman to hold that position and be appointed to it because we are also the appointing authority.”

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