Tisbury punts on Chief Saloio’s contract

The Tisbury select board delayed action on Police Chief Mark Saloio's contract. —Prior Screenshot

At an unusual 7 pm meeting Friday night, the Tisbury select board voted unanimously to exercise an option in the town’s contract with Police Chief Mark Saloio that would give the town more time to negotiate a new deal. 

Town counsel Brian Maser characterized the option as something that offered “more flexibility and an opportunity to continue dialogue with the chief.”

Maser told the board they had little time to make a decision. “So the terms of the chief’s contract call for a vote to renew or extend, or non-renew, on or before Monday, May 3,” Maser said. “This evening would be the night on which to make a motion and then take it from there in terms of what the next steps will be. It will all depend on the board’s motion,” he said. 

“And do you have a recommendation for that motion, Mr. Maser?” select board chair Jim Rogers asked. 

“Yeah,” Maser said, “I can advise there’s a provision in the contract where if the board votes to renew or extend, the contract basically continues for I think it’s an additional up to six months beyond June 30 of 2021 — to provide the parties with an additional opportunity to negotiate and attempt to arrive at a successor contract agreement. The only other alternative would be for the board to vote not to renew this evening. The first option gives the board time to continue discussions with Chief Saloio in an attempt to work out the terms of a successor agreement.”

Rogers said at present, Chief Saloio’s contract ends in November. 

Chief Saloio was not present at the meeting.

In other business, the board voted unanimously to close the 2021 annual warrant. The board also voted unanimously to close the 2021 special town meeting warrant, with a “late-filed” article by Fire Chief Greg Leland shoehorned in. Last, the board voted unanimously to close the warrant for an additional 2021 special town meeting — a meeting dedicated solely to the Tisbury School renovation and addition project. 

“Good work, gentlemen,” town moderator Deborah Medders said to the board. 



  1. Presiding over a demoralized and deteriorating department, with little improvement to show after years as Chief, the Selectman would be wise to cut their losses and convene the replacement search committee again.
    Tisbury does not need more interdepartmental lawsuits or appalling actions by Saloio’s officers, already the thing of legends here on the pages of the MV Times.

    • Hear, hear. Chief Saloio should be “thanked for his service”, as one does.
      But let’s hold off on that replacement committee, and its Byzantine backroom workings.

      James is right to call Tisbury Police Department members’ actions appalling. They have a toxic thug culture that has spilled its stink far past their clubhouse doors; Not just the hinted-at lawsuits, but also notoriety for hiring any ‘knight in tarnished armor’ that gets escorted out of other island departments, and, as whispered around the island by well-placed sources who would NEVER accept attribution, a laughably low threshold for psychological testing of new hires.

      MV Times did a great job of illuminating the Danielle Clermont situation, so I’d like to see them look into THAT.

      Doubtless there are certain players at TPD who are hungry for MORE unelected, unlicensed power on Tisbury streets, and perhaps even in committee boardrooms, and this may be our best chance to prevent the disaster such a bad actor could cause.

      Regionalization of police forces is happening all over the country, and Martha’s Vineyard is in a unique position to lead this movement. Until that happens, let us urge our representatives in the Commonwealth to have the department put into receivership, and we can have the State Police bust drunks coming over the drawbridge, wave cars past construction, and chase around some sad junkies.

      Tisbury does not need a local dedicated police force, and it cannot tolerate the one we have.
      Eliminate the department.


  2. When, if ever, will the Tisbury Selectmen stop hiring Wasserman’s corporation to screen potential candidates for Chief and simply go with their “gut”.

  3. Interesting point of view James. One could conclude that it’s ok to drop a half million here or a half million there to clear up misunderstandings between the towns police department, their minority officers and those who support them based on the fact they have allowed continued employment.
    On the bright side they haven’t shot anyone, yet…

    • Unfortunately the sworn statements from “minority officers” place the actions of their colleagues as a little more serious.
      It is like the TPD has no shame whatsoever.
      How many more lawsuits must be filed before something is done to “remove the stink” , as Brian Langhammer is so eloquently quoted?
      I get criticized, blocked and deleted for bringing up well documented actions of the TPD and an Aquinnah PD Chief, in a Tisbury residence, as though they are not relevant to Saloio’s contract renewal.
      How nice, one set of laws/procedures applies to the fraternal order of police, and a distinctly different one towards the citizens who employ them.
      Yes, a very equitable situation the Tisbury Selectmen now have the opportunity to rectify.

  4. Well said Mr. Kozak, I do hope you didn’t take my use of the word misunderstanding as literal, it was meant with the deepest sarcasm. Everyone who has commented has accurate comments which describe the situation. I do wonder what Mr. Wasserman is thinking after his lest erroneous face book post extolling accolades upon the departments direction and leadership.

  5. If ever there was time for regionalization of the island police now is a good time to start. Could someone figure out what the police budget is on this Island? It is a number no one wants to see and that number does not include the crazy pensions and health care paid out in retirement. If you told me current and future payments was $10M a year it would not surprise me.

  6. We’ll need to get an exact number of ALL the cops on the island. I’ve heard the Sheriff’s Dept alone employs over 60 people. And let’s not forget our newly arrived Environmental ‘Hero’, who seems to have jumped in swinging since he strutted off the ferry.

    By using rough estimates, it would appear that Martha’s Vineyard has a higher LEO per 1,000 citizens ratio than Fall River. And Providence.

    But that couldn’t possibly mean that such a cute little island, brimming with character and charm, has become a police state, right?

    What number do you come up with, Times?

    Are our communities being served and protected?
    Or are unlicensed and unaccountable opportunists running a very profitable scam?

    And how, exactly, does such opportunism differ from criminality?

    R E G I O N A L I Z E.

    • Brian– Let me point out a few things.
      Vineyard haven has an overall crime rate that is 84% lower than the national average.
      Violent crime is 75% lower than the national average.
      It is safer than 84% of cities in the U.S.

      Los Angeles is safer than 13% of U.S cities.
      Providence is safer than 10 %
      Fall river is safer than 27 %
      Yeah, we have police here– what’s the problem ?
      I think the police here are responsible for a large part of our low crime rate.
      Every police officer I have ever come into contact with on this island has been professional, courteous and treated me with respect.
      And that in spite of the fact that I have a colander on my head on my drivers license photo.
      I don’t know what you think a “police state” is, but my definition does not include police that are always professional, courteous, and respectful.

      • Have you read the details of the current civil rights lawsuits hanging over TPD?

        Doesn’t sound very courteous or respectful to me.

        As far as professionalism goes, I find it strange that if you want to be a hairdresser, or a commercial fisherman, or an electrician, or a doctor, or a lawyer, one needs a LICENSE.

        But to cruise our streets, under color of law, armed, given the authority to stop, search, detain, confine, beat the daylights out of one’s fellow citizens, or even kill them, all while under cover of ‘qualified immunity’, let alone all the extracurricular shenanigans that have been going on behind closed doors at TPD, no license is required? Seriously?!

        Let’s change THAT, THEN we’ll talk about “professionalism”.

        • You don’t need a license to hold political office.
          The president can send armies ( not a single soldier is licensed by the way) into sovereign countries and bomb the bejusses out of them. Trump ordered the national guard into some cities last summer, where they beat people on the streets. Did any of them have a license ?
          Do border patrol ,ICE, or IRS agents need a license ?
          How about a priest, preacher, rabbi or imam ?
          You can do better than to throw that red herring out there.

      • Mr Keller tells us that the police here are responsible for the very low crime rate when the demographic here dictates the absence of serious crime. An island 7 miles off the coast of the mainland as a tourist destination should have low crime rates and not due to police. It is like setting mouse traps in a place that has no mice.

      • Don, I would think that spending ones life with a colander on ones head might give one a different perspective, many very narrow points of view. Low crime on our faire isle certainly is not a result of the police. In regard to courteousness, Count Dracula was very polite… and then he wasn’t. I agree with the man who used to sell hot dogs his perspective is clear.

  7. Bob Murphy, you would be remiss in not mentioning that other Black Hole of the taxpayers dollars, Ogden’s “Dukes County Sheriff’s Office.”
    Their fiscal mismanagement is the thing of legends, second only to Thornton’s Dukes County office.
    You will recognize the Sheriff’s coming down the road, only the finest new SUV’s, while they preside over a “House of Correction” that could be a set for any Dostoevsky movie.
    But back to the disgraced Saloio, when he arrived here, we were promised positive change.
    We only received more lawsuits.

  8. Bob, the simple calculation is that there are no less than 70 full time police officers on the island, not county the sheriffs. Each officer makes at least 100k per year, that leaves you with 7 million in salaries. That number can easily be doubled with the benefits afforded to them…
    Oh my!!!!
    Of course if you look at the upcoming island wide training which has been reported in the times it comes as no surprise that the ‘Hilliard Heinz ‘ company conducting the training is affiliated with none other than the genius architect of the Tisberry police, Wasserman. Nothing like pretending your training is coming all the way from Chicago.

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