Tisbury inks contract with new administrator John W. Grande

John W. Grande is Tisbury's new administrator. — Photo by Janet Hefler

Tisbury selectmen signed a contract Tuesday for the services of new town administrator John “Jay” W. Grande of Framingham. Wednesday, Mr. Grande traveled to the Vineyard in a driving rain to add his signature to the three-year deal.

The contract will pay Mr. Grande $102,667 annually. His salary will rise to $106,843, if voters approve a new town pay scale at annual town meeting this spring.

“I am so happy and excited to be coming here, and anxious to get started,” Mr. Grande told The Times Wednesday morning.

He said the contract was standard fare. “It was a very straightforward process with the selectmen,” he said. “I knew what I needed, and they knew what they could offer, so it was accomplished very efficiently.”

Mr. Grande, now the director of Framingham’s planning board, is to begin his new job on Wednesday, March 13.

The contract requires Mr. Grande to establish residency within three months. He said he has already found a house in Oak Bluffs.

Mr. Grande will receive 20 days of paid vacation and 14 days of paid sick leave, which he may accrue to a maximum of 96 days, over the term of his contract.

Selectmen may end the contract without cause. He may resign with 60 days notice.

His responsibilities will include coordinating the budget process, providing advice to the selectmen on policy issues, responding to citizen complaints and inquiries, and acting as the town’s personnel director.

The selectmen voted to offer Mr. Grande the job on February 5, following a four-month search process.

Mr. Grande will take the reins from interim town administrator Aase Jones. Ms. Jones took on the administrator’s duties last fall in addition to her own as assistant town administrator.

Although former town administrator John Bugbee’s contract was due to expire on June 30, 2013, the selectmen announced at a meeting last September that they would hire a new administrator at the end of 2012. Selectman chairman Tristan Israel said the board was grateful to Mr. Bugbee for his nine years of service, but wanted to change course and re-energize its administration.

According to his resumé, Mr. Grande is responsible for managing professional staff and consultants for technical reviews and planning studies for Framingham, a town of almost 70,000. Mr. Grande has held that job for 16 years.

In a previous conversation with The Times, Mr. Grande said he views the Tisbury job as an opportunity for advancement and a chance to use the years of experience he has had working with all facets of municipal government, including local, state, and federal processes.

Mr. Grande has long ties to Martha’s Vineyard. His family bought a summer house in Oak Bluffs in 1977. They moved here year-round in 1981, when he was in college.