Khedouri aims to clear conflict of interest concerns

A new police sergeant is on his way to Chilmark; Homeport preps for summer. 

Peaked Hill Pastures RFP Committee member Fred Khedouri is clearing up conflict of interest concerns.

Questions have been raised over a committee member overseeing the Chilmark’s Peaked Hill Pastures affordable housing project, who also lives nearby the project.

Fred Khedouri, a member of the Peaked Hill Pastures RFP (request for proposal) committee, notified the Chilmark Select Board about a potential conflict of interest with his membership. 

“We have a letter from Fred Khedouri addressing concerns from some people that he may have a conflict of interest being on the Peaked Hill Pastures committee to develop a RFP,” select board chair Bill Rossi said during the Tuesday evening meeting.

A five-person committee was formed last year to develop a RFP for the Peaked Hill Pastures housing project after its approval during the annual town meeting

The project was planned to have 14 total units: 10 rental units, two “u-build” homesites, and two “turnkey” owner units. Turnkey means a developer designs and builds the housing units, and then a lottery system is used to choose eligible buyers. In April, nearly a year later, the committee experienced snags in developing the RFP. 

In his letter, Khedouri says he was appointed to the committee as a representative for the people who live in the general area around Peaked Hill Pastures. He addressed several concerns regarding his membership on the committee in the letter, like a potential financial interest due to Khedouri living near the project site. 

The letter states that “an owner of abutting or nearby property is presumed to have a financial interest in a matter affecting real property” under state law. However, Khedouri pointed out that he lives farther away than the abutment of 300 feet from the property line that pertains to the law. Additionally, he said his property value is unlikely to be impacted by the project compared with any other property owner in Chilmark. Khedouri also underscored that the board makes the final decision for the project, while he does not. 

Khedouri told the board that while he believed there was no conflict of interest under the state’s ethics laws, he submitted a form for a potential appearance of a conflict. “I took a sort of belt-and-suspenders approach,” he said. 

Khedouri said he also reached out to the State Ethics Commission, but has not received an answer. “If I hear something of concern from the State Ethics Commission, I will report that back to the select board, and you can determine then what action might be appropriate,” he said. 

No action was taken by the board. 

Meanwhile, the board rescheduled a joint meeting with the RFP committee to Thursday, May 11, at noon. 

In other news, the board unanimously approved reorganizing the board with Rossi as chair, Jim Malkin as vice chair, and Marie Larsen as clerk. This was Larsen’s first meeting after being elected to the board. 

Chilmark Police Chief Sean Slavin told the board plans to hire Garrison Vieira, who is currently a West Tisbury police sergeant, as the new Chilmark police sergeant. Vieira also applied for the open Chilmark police chief position that Slavin eventually filled. 

Meanwhile, the board unanimously approved a common victualler’s license for Homeport Restaurant, subject to approval from the board of health. 

Carroll said Chilmark residents interested in seeking appointment or reappointment to a town committee should submit a letter this week, which will be reviewed during the select board meeting on May 16. Also during that meeting, the board will discuss a preschool RFP.


  1. As a off island selectboard member, I applaud Khedouri‘s proactive letter. Too often, COI comes from outside. Writing a letter and being upfront is the right thing to do. From what’s written here, I don’t believe there is a conflict, but that’s for the Board to consider (or to ask AG for guidance).

Comments are closed.