Oak Bluffs waiting on town administrator, budget decisions


Oak Bluffs taxpayers and town employees will have to wait a while longer to find out how the selectmen will trim the current year budget by approximately $300,000. The discussion is now scheduled for September 6. Only three of the five selectmen attended Tuesday’s scheduled meeting, originally planned to hear recommendations on where and how to trim the budget.

Chairman Kathy Burton said she wanted all five selectmen present to debate and decide the critical issue.

She cancelled Tuesday’s meeting because the remaining items on the agenda dealt with two local restaurants. Ms. Burton said selectman Michael Santoro would have had to recuse himself because of a conflict of interest, leaving the board without a quorum to take any official votes. Mr. Santoro is managing partner of two restaurants.

Ms. Burton said she has encouraged all selectmen to attend the finance and advisory committee meeting on September 1, where the work of committees making budget recommendations will be discussed.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Ms. Burton said the town is currently in negotiation with Robert Whritenour, after making him an offer for the interim town administrator’s post. She declined any further comment.

Mr. Whritenour, most recently Falmouth town manager, emerged from a field of six candidates interviewed.

Contacted by phone Wednesday, Mr. Whritenour said he had no update on the negoatiations.

“I’m working very closely with the board, and hopefully we’ll be ready to roll real soon,” Mr. Whritenour said.

The town has operated without a town administrator since July 31, when Michael Dutton resigned as part of a negotiated departure.