Tisbury selectmen appoint acting police sergeant

— File photo by Susan Safford

Tisbury selectmen Geoghan Coogan and Jeff Kristal wrapped up 2011speedily Tuesday. Their meeting begin and ended in 25 minutes, a blink of the eye by Tisbury standards. Selectman Tristan Israel was absent.

At the recommendation of Police Chief Dan Hanavan, the selectmen agreed to promote police Officer Christopher Habekost to acting sergeant. Chief Hanavan said he asked for the promotion to provide a supervisor on the 4 pm to midnight shift.

That job has been vacant since November, when the selectmen fired Sergeant Robert Fiske. The termination followed an incident in which a young babysiter was left in a house alone and subsequently raped by a man who was the subject of a police search, when Mr. Fiske was the officer in charge.

“He’s been with the department eight years and he’s been doing a good job,” Chief Hanavan said of Officer Habekost.

The selectmen also approved new police department policies and procedures, presented by Chief Hanavan at a meeting on November 29.

In an update on the town’s new Emergency Services Facility (ESF) construction, Tisbury Fire Chief John Schilling said the architect would prepare a punch list for general contractor Seaver Construction after the first of the year. The building committee is continuing to review previous issues related to the building envelope and roof, as well as bills for additional services, he added.

Chief Schilling said the Tisbury Fire Fighters Association and Emergency Management Services Association recently bought appliances that included a new refrigerator, freezer, stove and dishwasher, and split the total cost of about $16,000, in keeping with their commitment to outfit the new ESF kitchen. The selectmen voted to accept their gifts, with thanks.

In other business, the selectmen approved the reappointment of Ned Orleans to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) through December 31, 2012. Despite past discussions about casting a wider net when appointments come due for town positions, selectmen made no effort to solicit other applicants.

In response to a question from The Times following the meeting, assistant town administrator Aase Jones said the MVC position was not advertised. She said she asked the selectmen about running an ad and was told it was not necessary, since Mr. Orleans had done a good job and was still interested in serving. Mr. Orleans has served on the MVC since 2004.