Tisbury narrows search for new town administrator to three


Tisbury has narrowed its search for a new town administrator to three candidates. A search committee presented its list of finalists at the weekly selectmen’s meeting Tuesday night.

George Balco, search committee chairman, said that the committee received between 30 and 40 applications for the position and that a substantial number were qualified. They narrowed the field to a smaller group before whittling it down to a final eight who were invited to interview for the position. Seven were interviewed and the three finalists came from that group.

They are Sally Rizzo, project manager at the Massachusetts State Retirement Board, John W. “Jay” Grande, director of the Framingham planning board, and Peter Graczykowski, city manager of the city of East Providence, R.I.

Mr. Balco said that among the requirements, candidates had to be willing to live on the Island. Former town administrator John Bugbee commuted from the mainland.

Ms. Rizzo owns a house in Tisbury. Mr. Graczykowski bought a house in Edgartown last week. Mr. Grande is a longtime Island visitor.

The search committee included board of health member Michael Loberg, Tisbury finance and advisory committee member Robert Doyle, Tim McLean, the town’s treasurer and tax collector, and Hillary Conklin, the selectmen’s administrative assistant and municipal union representative.

The three finalists will undergo final interviews at the Vineyard Haven Library, starting at 1 pm on February 2.

The Times requested copies of the three finalists’ resumés. Acting town administrator Aase Jones said the resumés would not be made available until the selectmen had had an opportunity to review them.

Pressed by The Times to provide the resumés as a public record, Ms. Jones said that she had consulted the town’s lawyer, David Doneski, who said the resumés were not subject to a public records request until they had been discussed at a public meeting.

In a telephone conversation Wednesday, Tristan Israel, chairman of the selectmen, endorsed holding the resumés out of public view. Mr. Israel said he thought the selectmen should see them before they were released.

Tisbury selectmen began the search for a new town administrator following the announcement in September that Mr. Bugbee, whose contract was to expire on June 30, 2013, would leave by the end of the year.

At the time of the announcement, Mr. Israel said, “This is simply about a change and a re-energizing of our administration, and nothing more. We are grateful for the nine years our current administrator John Bugbee has been with us, and the hard work he has done on behalf of the town.”

Mr. Bugbee stepped down from full-time duties and running the day-to-day operations of his office on October 24, following an executive session meeting with the town’s selectmen.

Assistant town administrator Aase Jones was asked to serve as the interim town administrator while a search committee worked to find his replacement.

In other business

In other business, selectman conducted a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the waterways regulations to require businesses providing services to transient boaters, including dockage and mooring rental, to provide pump-out services for their customers.

During the 45-minute discussion, representatives of the major harbor businesses spoke to a need for the town to provide better waste treatment facilities to accommodate the additional waste.

Department of Public Works director Fred Lapiana spoke about the threat to the present town waste system posed by marine waste, since many boats use sea water to process their effluent, which can harm the Tisbury system. He also talked about the volume limits of the plant.

He said that there will be an article on the warrant at a future town meeting that if passed will allow for a substantial increase in the wastewater plant capacity at a relatively small cost and that this would help handle the expected increase from the boat pump-outs.

The selectmen approved the ordinance to go into effect in 2015, acknowledging their intent to help the town’s waterfront businesses with compliance.

Selectmen held a second public hearing on a request to amend the town’s beer and wine regulations to allow a licensed beer and wine establishment to petition selectmen for an exemption to the requirement that meals must be served on dinnerware, not disposable paper plates, and prohibiting the use of plastic cutlery. Selectmen declined to take any action on the request.

The issue arose in connection with a request from the owners of Rocco’s Family Restaurant, a pizzeria located in the Tisbury Marketplace. The selectman had originally issued Rocco’s a license to serve beer and wine, based in part on the owners agreement to switch from paper plates.

Tuesday night, Rocco’s owners Chris Pantalone and Peter Sullo said that installing a dishwasher would be too costly. Mr. Sullo said they don’t earn enough selling beer and wine to make it worthwhile.

“We serve beer and wine as a convenience for our customers,” Mr. Sullo said.

The selectman voted unanimously to rescind the beer and wine license of Rocco’s Pizza, effective May 1, since they had not complied with town beer and wine regulations. Mr. Sullo said that they are considering an appeal.

Tisbury police Chief Daniel Hanavan requested that the selectmen approve a new police department electronic weapons policy that would sanction the use of and the purchase of two Tasers, an electroshock weapon that incapacitates suspects for five seconds. He said Tasers were more humane and effective than using nightstick batons or pepper spray to subdue resistant suspects. Selectmen approved his request to purchase two Tasers and accepted the policy.

The selectmen also passed a bylaw amendment that establishes a fine schedule for loose farm animals of $50 per violation after a first warning.