Edgartown town administrator Pam Dolby announces retirement

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Edgartown selectmen and special council members, from left, Michael Donaroma, Arthur Smadbeck, Margaret Serpa, Ron Rappaport, Pam Dolby, Kim Kane, and Wanda Williams. — File photo Stacey Rupolo

After 12 years in the top office in Edgartown town hall, Pam Dolby has announced she will retire after the end of the fiscal year, July 2018. Dolby made the announcement at the selectmen’s regular meeting on Tuesday.

“I’ve enjoyed everyone I’ve worked with, the department heads have been great, but I’m exhausted,” she said. “The work keeps piling up and someone newer and younger should come in and take the reins … I’ve always said Edgartown has very, very smart voters who ask the right questions to get their information, and I’ve loved working with them.”

Dolby said the death of a close family friend this New Year’s holiday also played a part in her decision.

“I want to get my life back, enjoy it, do other things,” she said.

Dolby said she would assist with the transition, and her tenure would likely end on or about July 15, adding she’d do her best to leave her office neat.

“There’s nobody I know that’s given more to this town than you, Pam,” selectman Art Smadbeck said. “You’ve given so much to this town, and on behalf of the town, I can’t tell you how much I personally appreciate it.”

“You have been the perfect person for this position, because of the way you handle everything,” selectman Margaret Serpa said. “You get so much done and so professionally, and [you’re] so kind to everybody, you are amazing. But you’re right, you need to enjoy your family. You’re not going to be easy to replace.”

Ms. Dolby also gave praise to Vineyard Gazette reporter Sara Brown. “I also want to thank Sara; I think you are a very good reporter,” she said. “You’ve been very professional with me ever since you got here. You’ve always done your best to tell both sides of the story and I really appreciate that, and I have a lot of respect for you.”

A lifelong Edgartonian, Ms. Dolby took over as town administrator on Jan. 1, 2006. She replaced Peter Bettencourt, who had held the position since 1966.

Dolby held many positions at town hall in her 42 years of service, though her primary duty for many years was as the administrator of the Parks Commission.

In other business, selectman Art Smadbeck gave an update on the search for the new town police chief. He said there have been 25 letters of interest received. There will be a closed meeting with the selection committee on Thursday, Feb. 22, at 1 pm. Examinations will take place at the assessment center on Monday, March 12. The selection committee will take a list of the top three finalists for further testing at the assessment center, and interviews with selectmen will begin on Monday, March 19.

“There are no applications in this town hall, and we have no idea who applied,” town administrator Dolby said.

“This is why we have the assessment center,” Smadbeck said.