Katherine Rogers, a New Hampshire attorney who was selected to serve as Dukes County manager by the county commissioners last week, will not accept the position. She informed the County of her decision on Thursday morning.
“She is unable to accept the position due to pressing medical problems that she must deal with first,” said Melinda Loberg, chair of the board of commissioners. “There is an unknown time frame for that, so it’s hard to predict when she might be available.”
Ms. Loberg expressed disappointment on behalf of the board of commissioners. “She was our definitely first choice, and we are disappointed but we are going to move on,” she said.
“She was very enthusiastic about the idea, and she had some great ideas about how we could proceed,” she said. “She has such a wide and good experience, and was ready with ideas for how to make the county work better for the island. We are definitely disappointed that we wont have the benefit of those ideas.”
The commissioners will decide how to proceed at their next public meeting on July 11 at 5 p.m.
The county budget allows for an annual salary of $63,500. The job description calls for expertise managing a budget, writing grants and communicating with other government leaders. The previous county manager, Russell Smith, resigned May 1 after holding the position for four years. Noreen Flanders, county treasurer, has been serving as interim county manager.
There were 19 applications for the position. The five finalists were interviewed publicly last week. The commissioners are expected to reassess the remaining four finalists: Christopher Knowles, health director for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah); Martina Thornton, current executive assistant to the county manager; Jessica Burgoyne, property manager for the Morgan Woods affordable housing development; and Jeffrey Madison, an attorney on the Island.