The public agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting included the closed-door session, the legal notice for which stated that “discipline or dismissal” were potential outcomes.
Stankiewicz and the public had been anticipating some action on the town manager's status since late last week, when the agenda was released, as required by the state's Open Meeting Law.
But the actual nature of that action remained unsure until the board reconvened in public session late Tuesday evening.
Stankiewicz held the option to reject the board’s private session decision and demand his legal right to a public hearing, which may have convinced the parties involved to find a nutually agreeable solution.
Late word from Town Hall Tuesday morning – confirmed by Stankiewicz – was that there was an agreement in principle that would allow him to leave Plymouth’s employ with his dignity and reputation intact, and most of the money owed him under his contract.
The details of the agreement were not available prior to Tuesday's meeting, but it appeared likely that Stankiewicz would receive the majority of the money owed through the end of his contract (Dec. 28), and several months’ severance pay. The total should exceed $100,000.
But, If that agreement held, it was also expected the executive session would not take place.
Instead, the board was expected to take the issue out of order and publicly announce the agreement early in the evening. Stankiewicz would make a statement thanking the people of Plymouth, and then go home to begin looking for his next position – without further comment. It was, apparently, part of the agreement that neither side disparage the other.
But that may not keep other people from criticizing the path that led to this point, including Selectman John Mahoney.
Asked earlier in the week if Tuesday night’s meeting would end with the town looking for a new town manager, Mahoney was blunt.
“I certainly hope not,” Mahoney said Monday. “I have been and remain a staunch supporter of the town manager.”