Oak Bluffs hires new children’s librarian

Oak Bluffs selectman unanimously agreed to hire Sondra Murphy as the children’s librarian at their Tuesday meeting. Ms. Murphy has served in the post on an interim basis for the past six months.

“She is not only capable, but her interview far surpassed any of the other candidates,” library trustee chairman Beatrice Green told the board during its meeting in the library meeting room. “If you go upstairs, you will see 10, 11, 12 year-olds, you’ll see 15, 16 year-olds, which we have not seen in a long time.”

Ms. Murphy was the unanimous recommendation of trustees, and the only name forwarded to selectmen. Previously selectmen asked for three recommendations, and asked to be part of the interview process. Selectmen and the trustees agreed to clarify the library hiring procedure at a future meeting.

Also Tuesday, selectmen convened a meeting of the Affordable Housing Trust, and voted to ask the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) for $400,000 in Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds. The money is intended to buy rental properties for affordable housing.

Selectmen also discussed whether money spent on the Bradley Square affordable housing project could be recovered. The Island Affordable Housing Trust has abandoned the project and put the property bordering Dukes County Avenue up for sale. Town meeting voters approved $400,000 in CPA funds, of which approximately $50,000 was spent on the project, according to CPC member Jim Westervelt.

In other action, selectmen voted to change the date of a previously scheduled special town meeting to Tuesday, November 16; agreed to ask their Community Development Committee to explore new revenue sources, including the possibility of paid parking; asked the town administrator to explore the feasibility of leaving open the zoning administrator position to save money, when the current administrator leaves for another job; noted the beginning of the permit process for renourishing town beaches; and learned the town will be able to recoup some emergency planning expenses incurred during preparation for Hurricane Earl.