A special meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was held Tuesday,
August 19, 2003 at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the County Administration Building, notice of such meeting having been posted as required by law.
Commissioners Present: Leonard Jason, Jr.; Robert Sawyer; Leslie Leland; John Alley, Chairman; Nelson Smith; Paul Strauss; Roger Wey.
Also Present: Marsha Smolev, Executive Assistant; Treasurer Flanders; Ezra Blair, MV Times; Alexis Tonti, Vineyard Gazette; Peter Look; George Balco; Susan Wasserman; Abby Burt; Marie Allen; Margaret Logue.
The Chairman opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m. and welcomed the Search Committee. Commissioner Strauss spoke about recent events and asked rather than reporting individual opinions on important issues that the Commissioners present unified cohesive decisions to the Public.
Ms. Allen, Chair of the Search Committee said that the Search Committee had gone through a painstaking process and recommended candidates who would fulfill the position of County Manager admirably. Speaking, she said, on behalf of the Committee, she asked that the Commissioners consider the other finalist, Mr. Winn Davis who was highly recommended.
Commissioner Wey noted that he had disagreed with this idea last week, but having thought about it, he felt if Mr. Davis was still interested, the Commissioners should bring him in for a discussion. Commissioner Strauss asked about the third finalist who had withdrawn his name. Ms. Wasserman explained there was no longer a ‘bigger pool of candidates.’ She said starting over would take time, would be expensive and would require a new advertisement. She said she believed the old ad could not legally be used again. Commissioner Smith asked it the third candidate had withdrawn thinking the Commissioners were considering a local person. Ms. Wasserman said the third candidate had withdrawn for personal reasons and chosen to stay where he was. Ms. Allen said it was fiscally
irresponsible to start the search over when there was a strong candidate and respectfully asked again that the Commissioners consider him. Commissioner Sawyer asked for clarification of Ms. Wasserman’s statement about the legality of the ad. Ms. Wasserman said she strongly advised that the Commissioners couldn’t simply change the date and re-advertise. Considering the Commissioners’ Motion of the previous meeting including the consideration of Ms. Perry, Ms. Wasserman said any screening committee would have an impossible task.
Commissioner Wey Moved to invite Mr. Winn Davis back for an interview for the job of County Manager. Commissioner Strauss Seconded the Motion.
There was discussion of the Motion from the previous week. Commissioner Strauss said it had not been the intent of the previous Motion or vote to consider Ms. Perry again unless she qualified. Commissioner Smith agreed that regardless of how the Motion was stated, he believed it was understood Ms. Perry would only be considered if she discovered her Degree. Ms. Powers said tonight’s Motion was what she had suggested last week. Commissioner Strauss said even if today’s Motion passed, there needed to be Plan B. Ms. Powers said she had spoken with Mr. Davis and while he was interested in speaking with the Commissioners, he did not wish to through the application process again. Ms. Powers was not sure Mr. Davis would come for another interview. Commissioner Jason suggested
offering Mr. Davis the position. While Commissioner Wey offered to amend his Motion, Commissioner Strauss said he did not want to Second an amended Motion.
Commissioner Sawyer voiced concern about hiring a County Manager who had no plan to move to the Vineyard in the near future. Ms. Powers said Mr. Davis was willing to move here after his daughter graduated from high school. There was discussion about the intent of Commissioner Wey’s Motion. Commissioner Wey said his intent was to bring Mr. Davis back so the Commissioners could ask questions and then ultimately offer the job if they were comfortable doing so. Commissioner Smith mentioned that he had spoken to Mr. Davis.
Commissioner Strauss said he thought Commissioner Wey’s Motion meant talk with Mr. Winn and if appropriate vote to offer the job, but that it didn’t mean to agree in advance to offer the job. He said that was why he hadn’t Seconded the Amendment. Commissioner Sawyer reiterated serious reservations about hiring ‘a commuter.’
The Vote to Approve the Motion Passed Unanimously.
Ms. Powers asked if the Commissioners needed to rescind the vote of the previous week but Commissioner Jason said they’d asked the Search Committee to reconvene and they had and they’d said no to bringing three candidates. Commissioner Smith thanked the Search Committee. Commissioner Strauss asked how to proceed should this not work. Ms. Wasserman said they’d have to look at the advertisement again. She read the original ad, noting the basics, a Bachelor’s Degree and 5 to 7 years experience. Ms. Allen noted this did not include residency. Ms. Logue said it did not say only Islanders need apply. Commissioner Jason said residency was in the Charter and one needed permission of the Commissioners to reside off-Island. Commissioner Sawyer said ultimately, the
person would have to live here. Ms. Wasserman reiterated that they couldn’t go back to a pool, since there was none. In reference to a County Manager not moving here right away, Ms. Powers said many people live on the Island successfully and have careers off-Island. She thought it honorable that Mr. Davis wouldn’t move here until his daughter graduated from high school.
The Chairman asked Ms. Powers to contact Mr. Davis and arrange dates for the meeting. Ms. Powers said there was no need to discuss the Interim Manager, because if Mr. Davis agreed to come, she would stay on until then.
Mr. Balco left at 7:06 PM.
Commissioner Smith asked that Mr. Davis’ background be verified.
Mr. Look offered his services as Temporary County Manager if one was needed. He stressed he was not interested in the position long term. Chairman Alley thanked Mr. Look.
Commissioner Leland Moved to Adjourn. Commissioner Wey Seconded the Motion. The meeting Adjourned at 7:07 PM.
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO, JR., CLERK OF THE COURTS -