After a process that has gone through fits and starts since September, the Dukes County Commission decided this week to readvertise for a new county manager.
At a meeting on Wednesday night the county commission could not reach a majority vote on any of the three final candidates for the job.
“We are betwixt and between with the candidates we have,” said county commissioner Tristan Israel, who is also a Tisbury selectman. The comment came just before the commission took a vote on the three finalists — two from Cape Cod and one from the Vineyard.
The meeting was the second held to discuss finalists Thomas Bernardo of Chatham, Troy Clarkson of Falmouth and Russell Smith of Aquinnah. The candidates were interviewed on Nov. 10.
Commission chairman Paul Strauss cast the lone vote for Mr. Smith. Commissioners John Alley and Roger Wey voted for Thomas Bernardo. Carlene Gatting, Les Leland and Mr. Israel left their ballots blank. Commissioner Leonard Jason Jr. did not participate. By law, a candidate needs a simple majority, or at least four votes, to be appointed.
Commissioners will now readvertise the position, with the hope of reaching a broader geographic area. They also briefly discussed the possibility of raising the starting salary, currently advertised at $60,000. County treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders will continue as acting county manager until the position is filled.
Former county manager E. Winn Davis left his post in August.
At the outset this fall the county commission appointed a search committee to screen candidates, but when the committee recommended that all candidates be rejected and a new search be started, the commission decided to take over the screening and interview process on its own. At that point Mr. Jason, who disagreed with the commission’s approach, removed himself from the process.
In the end the commission reached the same conclusion as its search committee.