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County Commission Minutes 08/28/03
A special meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was held Thursday,
August 28, 2003 at 5:00 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; Dianne Powers, Acting County Manager; E. Winn Davis; Ezra Blair, MV Times; Alexis Tonti, Vineyard Gazette; Susan Wasserman; Marie Allen; Margaret Logue; Sheriff McCormack; Ned Orleans; Carol Grant.

The Chairman opened the meeting at 5:05 p.m. and welcomed Mr. Davis.  Commissioner Jason asked Mr. Davis if he still wanted the job of County Manager.  Commissioner Sawyer questioned Mr. Davis regarding residency.  Mr. Davis sited economics as the reason he would not be able to move to the Island for at least two years, at which time his daughter would be finishing college.  Commissioner Leland spoke of making a personal investment in the Island by participating in the community.  Commissioner Strauss asked about the population of Hanson.  Mr. Davis said 9975.  He said the population of Provincetown was about 3000 year-round, but 30,000 daily.  Commissioner Strauss asked Mr. Davis to speak about the fact that he’d stayed in previous jobs two to three years each.  Mr. Davis said he moved on from Provincetown because the Town Administrator wasn’t leaving and he was not interested in remaining Assistant Town Administrator.  He recently signed an 18 month extension to his contract in Hanson and was not interested in any other job but this one.

Commissioner Strauss mentioned credentials and asked if Ms. Powers had asked Mr. Davis to bring copies of credentials.  Ms. Powers said she had not, but Mr. Davis, having brought documentation, showed it to the Commissioners. Commissioner Smith mentioned he had voted previously for Mr. Davis because he was impressed with Mr. Davis’ credentials and his statement that he was a ‘consensus builder.’  Also, Commissioner Smith noted, Mr. Davis used the term ‘we’ rather than ‘I’ and that weighed favorably with him.  Commissioner Smith asked if Mr. Davis saw the job as advancement or a step sideways and Mr. Davis said both.

Commissioner Jason asked when Mr. Davis could start if the job were offered.  Mr. Davis said two to four weeks, but he imagined there had to be negotiations first.  He suggested a transition period in which he would work at each job two to three days a week.

(Carol Grant left at 5:25 PM.  Susan Wasserman arrived.)

Commissioner Wey asked for an explanation of Mr. Davis’ management style.  Mr. Davis said it was based on consensus building and on developing a relationship with staff and the Commissioners.  Mr. Davis said the Chief Executive could not go off on his own and that he didn’t want surprises and would make sure superiors were aware of what was going on.  He appreciated, however, that if action needed to be taken, it would fall on the Chief Executive.  

Commissioner Sawyer asked about Mr. Davis’ experience in Health and Human Services. Mr. Davis said that while Health and Human Services was a big part of his work in Provincetown, affordable housing is a bigger issue in Hanson.  Commissioner Sawyer asked how Mr. Davis would deal with commuting and evening obligations here.  Mr. Davis said he expected the expense of finding a room but in the past had on occasion slept in his office in an emergency.

Commissioner Sawyer asked what Mr. Davis saw as the future of County Government for Dukes County.  Mr. Davis said in other, larger Counties, towns don’t always share goals, but he felt the efficiencies were achievable here and that was his goal.

Chairman Alley asked even though Mr. Davis was second, would he accept the position if it were offered. Mr. Davis said he would in principle, but there was a lot to discuss yet.

Commissioner Jason Moved to end the interview and offer Mr. Davis the position.  Commissioner Wey Seconded the Motion.  The Vote to Approve the Motion was Unanimous.

Commissioner Jason Moved that the Commissioners go into Executive Session to discuss contract negotiations with non-union personnel and include Ms. Smolev, Ms. Powers and Mr. Davis and not to reconvene in Open Session.  Commissioner Leland Seconded the Motion. Chairman Alley called for a Roll Call vote on the Motion: Commissioner Leland – aye; Commissioner Strauss – aye; Commissioner Smith – aye; Commissioner Jason – aye; Commissioner Wey – aye; Commissioner Sawyer – aye; Chairman Alley – aye.

Sheriff McCormack, speaking on behalf of the Search Committee, commended the Commissioners for taking this action.  He said Mr. Davis was more than qualified and their charge had been to present three finalists to the Commissioners. Any of the three would have been qualified, Sheriff McCormack stressed, objecting to calling Mr. Davis second.  He added Mr. Davis was one of three finalists.  Ms. O’Neil said she was impressed with Mr. Davis from the start and with the Commissioners for moving rapidly.  Ms. Allen concurred, adding, “All’s well that ends well.”

The Commissioners recessed to move into Executive Session at 5:40.


The County of Dukes County PO Box 190, Edgartown, MA 02539
Phone: 508.696.3840    Fax: 508.696.3841
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