In their ongoing search to fill the county manager seat, vacant since August, county commissioners are doing their homework.
The sole item on the agenda at the county commission meeting Tuesday night was discussion about references and background checks on the three finalists for the position. The finalists are Thomas Bernardo of Chatham, Troy Clarkson of Falmouth and Russell Smith of Aquinnah.
After a short update on progress, commissioners voted to continue the meeting in two weeks. Meanwhile, commissioners will gather more information on the candidates. “This has not been enough time to make an informed decision,” commissioner Carlene Gatting said.
Commission chairman Paul Strauss called the meeting to order and set ground rules. He encouraged commissioners to talk about the finalists in as positive a way as possible. “We have a group of applicants that are as good as if we had done a broader search,” he said. He reminded commissioners to take the process seriously. “There is no pressure to come to a vote tonight,” he said.
After interviews on Nov. 10, commissioners broke into groups of two to conduct reference checks on each applicant.
This week, they traveled to gas stations in Chatham, the town hall in Falmouth and spoke with members of the Wampanoag tribe of Gay Head, all in an effort to gain more insight into the candidates.
“I am not prepared to cast a vote,” commissioner Leslie Leland said Tuesday night. Commissioner Roger Wey disagreed. “I am ready to make a decision tonight,” he said.
In the end, the commission voted 4-1 to postpone a vote, with Mr. Wey abstaining. The meeting closed with a holiday greeting. “Happy Thanksgiving from the turkeys over here,” said commissioner John Alley.