On Tuesday morning, the Steamship Authority’s port council praised general manager Robert Davis’ performance over the past year.
Port council members consistently gave the longtime leader of the ferry line overall grades in the 90th percentile as part of his annual review. Chair John Cahill, Tisbury’s member, expressed amazement at Davis’ knowledge base, and said he’s done a “totally respectable job” at the helm of the SSA. He also lauded Davis for guiding the SSA through the pandemic.
While Oak Bluffs member Joe Sollitto gave Davis a solid review, he also said the ferry line’s communication needs improvement.
Along with praising Davis, Nantucket member Nathaniel Lowell said he would like to see less managerial interference with terminal agents and how they run the docks.
Falmouth member Rob Munier was no less generous with his kudos for Davis, but also said he believed Davis had too much work on his plate.
SSA human resources director Janice Kennefick told the port council members their responses would be carried over to the board as it too evaluates Davis. That meeting is scheduled for July 19 at 9:30 am.
In other business, Davis said the freight ferry Gay Head, which is scheduled to do crossings between Hyannis and Nantucket, recently suffered a mechanical issue as it departed Fairhaven for Hyannis after a repair period. The vessel suffered damage to an engine “turbo,” and more specifically to an impeller. The Gay Head was forced to abort its return to service. He said “parts are being sourced” to repair the vessel. Upon inspection, similar damage was found in the vessel’s other engine, also necessitating a repair, he said. Work is expected to be finished Wednesday, with sea trials for the vessel on Thursday, he said. When asked by The Times toward the close of the meeting what was believed to have happened to the impellers, Davis said it appeared metal had fallen inside. He conceded it was possible this could have occurred while the vessel was being worked on.