Tisbury selectman will interview administrator candidates Saturday

The list is down to three for the top administrative job in Tisbury town hall. — File photo by Susan Safford

The search for a new Tisbury town administrator will continue Saturday when selectmen hold public interviews beginning at 1 pm in the Vineyard Haven Library for the three finalists chosen from among dozens of applicants.

A search committee presented its list of finalists to selectmen at their meeting January 22. 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.

All three have close ties to Martha’s Vineyard. Two of the three own homes on the Island. In conversations with The Times, the applicants spoke about their connections and reasons for pursing the job.

Peter Graczykowski

“It appears the Tisbury administrator job is a good fit for my experience and skill level,” Peter Graczykowski, city manager for the City of East Providence, said in a phone conversation. “I am looking for a place I can hang my hat for a while. I am looking for a little more permanence, that’s the driving force here.”

He said that his current job is for an indefinite period of time and he does not have a long-term contract.

He recently purchased a house on the Vineyard and said he enjoys taking advantage of what the Vineyard has to offer with his wife and 5-year-old daughter.

As a high school student in his native Poland, Mr. Graczykowski spent a summer working in Maryland. He decided he wanted to attend college in the U.S. and has been here since. He received his BS in business management from Westfield State University in Westfield in 1996 and has a law degree and a masters in business administration from Western New England University in Springfield. He is licensed to practice law in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

He has held a variety of positions since graduating from college, with the towns of Vernon, Conn., and Springfield and Chicopee, Mass., as assistant town administrator, human resource director, administrative services director, among others.

Sally Rizzo

Sally Rizzo is IT project manager at the Massachusetts State Retirement Board under the office of State treasurer Steven Grossman. She told the Times she is looking forward to discussing the needs of the town and the skills and abilities she will bring to the town administration.

Ms. Rizzo has owned a home on the Vineyard for over 25 years, and spends time here in all seasons. She said in an email to the Times, “Whenever I have free time, my compass and car points to the Island, no matter what the weather.”

She has ridden many of the Vineyard’s bike trails and walked many of the conservation areas with her dog. Last year, she sold her home in West Tisbury and bought a new house in Vineyard Haven.

“I love kayaking and one of my favorite launches and paddles is Tashmoo,” she said.

Her resumé lists 25 years of experience in the public sector. She served as chairman of the Newton School Committee where she led the budget process, working closely with the Board of Alderman on operational as well as capital issues, and she has worked with contract negotiation and hiring committees.

She also has operational and program management experience with two state-wide nonprofits. She was the statewide director of the Mass Association for the Blind from 2005-2009 and director of operations and compliance officer for the Mass Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children for 11 years. She is on the board of Hospice of the Good Shepard and Plowshares Child Care Programs and is member of the Democratic State Committee.

Ms. Rizzo received a BA from Long Island University in 1973 and a masters from Antioch University in 1979. She now lives in Newton.

John “Jay” W. Grande

John “Jay” W. Grande is the director of the planning board for the town of Framingham, a job he has held for 16 years. According to his resumé, it is a position that is appointed by the elected planning board. He is responsible for managing professional staff and consultants for technical reviews and planning studies for the town of almost 70,000.

Mr. Grande, pronounced as two syllables, has been a town planner for most of his working career having held planning jobs with the towns of Gorham, Maine, Wareham, and Harwich. He told the Times in a phone interview that he views the Tisbury job as an opportunity for advancement and a chance to utilize the years of experience he has had working with all facets of municipal government, including local, state, and federal processes.

Mr. Grande has spent many summers on the Vineyard, some working in restaurants and construction. He said the Vineyard feels like home to him. He has friends and family on the Island and is a frequent visitor. He lived on the Island year-round with his young family in 1990. He has three grown children in their twenties.

Mr. Grande’s family purchased a summer home in Oak Bluffs in 1977. They moved here year-round in 1981 when he was in college. His mother was a teacher and was elected to the Oak Bluffs planning board. His dad, retired from Raytheon, worked for the town of Oak Bluffs in the personnel office. His sisters attended Oak Bluffs and the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. In his spare time he likes to ski, golf, sail, bike, and pursue other outdoor activities.

He attended Austin Prep in Reading, got his BA in geography-history at Villanova University in 1983, and a masters in geography and a graduate certificate in gerontology from West Virginia University. He has studied at Suffolk University and New England School of Law, and he now takes classes at Marist College.