Town clerk Wanda Williams swore in former U.S. Marine and Oak Bluffs Police Officer James Hagerty as town administrator Tuesday afternoon at a meeting of the board of selectmen.
Hagerty was recently selected from among four finalists to replace Pam Dolby as executive for the town. After he was sworn in, Hagerty thanked the selectmen, various town department heads, and Dukes County Clerk of Courts Joseph Sollitto for their presence and support. He said he is excited for the opportunity to serve the town.
“It’s an honor,” he said.
Hagerty then took Dolby’s seat by the selectmen while Dolby sat in the audience. Dolby will stay on until July to help Hagerty transition into his new role.
In other business, selectmen temporarily suspended a political regulation and allowed candidates for Dukes County Superior Court Clerk to motor along in the the town’s Independence Day parade in decorated vehicles.
“People who are running for the position have asked if they can put a car in the parade, decorate it red, white, and blue, and put signs on it,” Dolby said. “In the past it’s always been nothing political in the parade — Joe [Sollitto] doesn’t have an issue with it — times have kind of changed since these rules were first put together 40 years ago, 50 years ago.”
Selectmen’s assistant Kristy Rose clarified the rule on the books prohibits political and commercial advertising at the parade.
Dolby said the selectmen didn’t necessarily need to abolish the rule, but modify it temporarily. She suggested the change would be a crowd-pleaser.
“It makes the parade longer, and everybody enjoys it. Who cares?” she asked.
Only two candidates have shown interest, she told the selectmen, but she expects the other two will follow suit.
The selectmen agreed to allow the the modification provided no business advertising takes place at the parade and the candidates don’t hand out political pamphlets or flyers.
In back-to-back unanimous votes, the selectmen approved changes to different types of insurance for the Yellow House. The board was informed the request for proposals for the Yellow House is slated to be released on June 5.
In a 2-0 vote, the selectmen approved moving a hedge at the Marx property on Dunham Road.
Highway superintendent Stuart Fuller said the hedge had “encroached on the asphalt,” and that moving it would widen the road. Selectman Michael Donaroma recused himself because his company, Donaroma’s Nursery and Landscape Services, has been hired to do the work.