Easthampton adds complaint form to website

Staff Writer
Published: 6/28/2020 5:57:13 PM

EASTHAMPTON — The city has put a complaint form on its website for municipal employees and departments, possibly for the first time in its history.

“It was really a stunning omission,” said Mayor Nicole LaChapelle.

LaChapelle said that Easthampton resident Jason Montgomery brought the matter to her attention in a recent virtual town hall, when he said there was no online complaint form for police.

When staff went looking for such a form, city, no evidence could be found that a complaint form for police or any other municipal official or department had ever been on the city’s website.

“I am a little surprised that we didn’t have one before this,” said City Council President Peg Conniff.

The complaint form was put up on the website on Tuesday. Complaints can be left anonymously using the form.

Complaints can also be filed by calling the mayor’s office at 413-529-1470 or emailing mayor@easthamptonma.gov. mayor.

Conniff will be meeting with Robert Dixon, the city’s personnel director, to offer her suggestions to improve the form.

She said some of the options one can select for wrongdoing are inadequate or confusing in the current version. She also said that it may be good to have a separate complaint form for police.

Additionally, Conniff said she wants it to be clearer that the form can be used for internal complaints, and wants to make sure that confidentiality is maintained during the complaints process.

Although he hadn’t seen the complaint form yet when reached out to by the Gazette, Montgomery did express satisfaction that one had been posted to the website.

“I’m glad they’re making the effort toward transparency,” he said.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.

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