Updated Sept. 6
A lieutenant with the Sturbridge Police Department is the lone finalist to become Tisbury’s next police chief.
Mark Saloio, who lives in Brimfield, will be interviewed on Thursday, Sept. 13, first by selectmen at 6:30 pm, then the public will have an opportunity to meet and question him at a public forum. His name was announced at a meeting Thursday morning with outgoing Police Chief Daniel Hanavan in the audience.
In October 2017, the board decided not to offer Hanavan a new three-year contract. He was signed to a one-year deal that began in June that will pay him $139,000. If a new chief is hired, the town will be on the hook for two police chiefs through the end of June 2019.
“We did not budget for two police chiefs, so we’ll have to do some budget transfers,” Jon Snyder, the town’s finance director, said at the meeting. Between transfers and a possible town meeting appropriation in April, the town can absorb the two salaries, he said.
Town administrator Jay Grande noted that there are a number of openings on the police department. “There should be funds,” he said.
Selectmen have said they know the salary needs to be competitive to attract a candidate. “We will be competitive with other towns?” selectman Jim Rogers said.
“Have to be,” Grande responded.
Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee earns $180,000 per year, and West Tisbury Police Chief Matt Mincone’s salary is $130,000 per year.
According to his résumé, Saloio has served with the Sturbridge department for nearly 20 years, rising from the rank of patrolman. Prior to joining the Sturbridge department, he was a patrolman in Monson, and before that a corrections officer for Hampden County. He has a master’s degree in criminal justice from Westfield State University.
Grande said a second finalist was put forward, but withdrew, and a third potential candidate withdrew before becoming a finalist.
Tisbury Lt. Eerik Meisner, who applied for the job, was interviewed by the screening committee, but did not make the final cut.
In his cover letter, Saloio touts his experience and his educational background and training, which includes internal affairs training with the FBI. He also notes that Sturbridge, like Martha’s Vineyard, has a lot of visitors. “Engrained within the culture of the Sturbridge Police Department is an unwavering commitment to work in partnership with our community to enhance the quality of life,” he wrote.
He could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.
The town’s police chief job attracted 10 candidates, and five were interviewed by the search committee.
At a meeting Thursday morning, selectmen authorized town administrator Grande to spend up to $3,000 for consultant Strategic Policy Partnership to do a background investigation. Selectman Rogers called the price of the background check “a little steep,” and urged Grande to negotiate that price.
Strategic Policy Partnership, which is based in West Tisbury, has been earning money on a regular basis from the town, doing this search and previous studies. In 2016, for example, the consultant signed a contract for $19,000 to do a report on the police department’s internal struggles.
Barwick on the shelf
The town’s building inspector, Ken Barwick, is out injured, and inspections and zoning issues are piling up.
On Thursday, selectmen authorized Grande to appoint three people from Municipal Code Consulting, a consultant that does inspections and zoning enforcement and which is already under contract for $8,500, for three months, even though Barwick doesn’t expect the injury to keep him out that long.
Grande said he doesn’t expect the $8,500 will be enough to cover the 35 inspections and half-dozen zoning issues that have piled up, as well as new work that will emerge in Barwick’s absence. “I’ll have to come back,” he said after the meeting.
Wearing a brace and bandage on his arm, Barwick, without saying what happened, told the selectmen he expects to be able to return to the job in mid-September.
“I can say of Ken, he’s healing, if you will,” Barwick told the board. He said the “contraption” comes off his arm Sept. 10, and he’ll be checked out to see the progress. “My goal is, with selectmen’s permission, to come back to work,” he said.
At one point he jokingly offered to undress it for reporters to take a photo. “It ain’t pretty,” he said.
Chairman Tristan Israel cautioned that Barwick should take advantage of the town hiring the consultant and not rush back to work. “You have a cushion,” he said.
Felix Zemel will fill in as building inspector. Michael Brogan and Christopher McWhite have been appointed local inspectors.
After Rogers expressed some concern about the qualifications of the men, Grande agreed to set up a meeting between Rogers and the consultants.
Fire Chief John Schilling, who had already met them, praised their abilities. “I think we’re in good hands,” he said. “There’s been good communication already.”
At the recommendation of Rogers, the board will advertise for a full-time local inspector to see what types of candidates it brings in. The board is scheduled to meet in joint session with Oak Bluffs selectmen Sept. 11. One of the topics of discussion will be potentially sharing building department resources, Israel said.
Updated with new date for interviews. – Ed.