Oak Bluffs agrees to new contract with police chief

Oak Bluffs police chief Erik Blake in 2009. — File photo by Nelson Sigelman

Oak Bluffs selectmen and police chief Erik Blake agreed to a new three-year contract during an executive session following the board’s Tuesday, September 11, regular meeting.

In the first year of the contract, which is dated July 1, Chief Blake will earn $111,666, representing a 1.5 percent increase over his salary last year. He will also get an annual bonus equal to 20 percent of his base pay as an educational incentive, bringing his total wage compensation to $133,999.

The contract calls for a three percent increase in the second year of the contract. After that, he is entitled to receive no less than the percentage pay increase granted other non-school department heads. The vote to approve the new contract was unanimous.

“I think he’s incredibly professional,” chairman Kathy Burton said in a phone interview Wednesday. “We’re one of the few towns in Massachusetts with a fully accredited police department. He does a wonderful job.”

If the board does not reappoint Mr. Blake, or asks him to resign, the town must pay him 12 months’ pay as severance.

A police officer who rose to the rank of lieutenant, Mr. Blake was appointed acting police chief in January 2003, following the resignation of Joe Carter. He became the town’s new chief in July 2003.