Chilmark narrows search for new police chief
Two up-Island policemen are among three finalists under consideration to be the next Chilmark police chief. The successful candidate will replace Tim Rich, who will retire after 30 years at the head of the small town force
The candidates are West Tisbury police sergeant Dan Rossi, Chilmark patrolman Brian Cioffi, and Carver police sergeant Mike Miksch. Selectmen will conduct public interviews beginning at 3 pm, Friday, May 15.
In December, Chief Rich announced that he would retire on July 1, after 33 years as a Chilmark police officer. The three selectmen tapped one of their members, J.B. Riggs Parker, to conduct the initial search and interviews.
"This has been a very difficult selection process," Mr. Parker told selectmen Tuesday night. "We received 29 applications for information, and 18 of the applicants applied for the position. The candidates were interesting and exciting people."
The selectmen are responsible for hiring the new chief. No salary has been set. "We will negotiate that with the successful candidate," Mr. Parker said after the meeting. Chief Rich receives $84,377 in salary.
In other business, selectmen approved victualer licenses for the Home Port Restaurant and the new Chilmark Tavern. Summer residents Bob and Sarah Nixon bought the Home Port in February for more than $2.3 million, after Chilmark voters rejected a town purchase of the property.
"We will operate the restaurant as it has been run for more than 30 years by Will and Madeline Holtham. We will focus on improving service," said David Zeilinger, acting general manger of the restaurant. The license also allows a new 10 am to 2 pm Sunday brunch service, beginning in July.
The Home Port will begin serving dinner seven days a week on May 22, Mr. Zeilinger said, along with the popular takeout service.
Selectmen conditioned the license with a requirement that employee parking will not be allowed at the restaurant and that the restaurant agrees to hold the town harmless in the event of a septic system malfunction. Selectmen imposed the condition after learning that a few feet of the restaurant's septic system is on town land. Mr. Zeilinger agreed and said also that the restaurant would continue to allow public parking in its lot until 4 pm.
Selectmen also issued a license to Paul O'Connell, a Cambridge restaurateur, to operate The Chilmark Tavern as a restaurant at the site of the former Cornerway, adjacent to the Chilmark Store.
Mr. O'Connell told selectmen that the restaurant would be affordably priced for both year-round residents and visitors, featuring Island fish, meat, and other produce. Mr. O'Connell also pledged that the restaurant would be available for community events and fundraisers. The Chilmark Tavern will operate seasonally, seven days a week.