Harbormaster’s job description questioned

TREMONT — A harbor committee member questioned selectmen Monday about their reason for eliminating any references to supervisory duties in a draft job description for the harbormaster.

Selectmen at a meeting last month began working on a new version of the job description. The reworking of the document was put on the agenda at the request of selectman Dean Wass.

On Monday, the three selectmen present had just begun to review the proposed changes when they were challenged by harbor committee member Mel Atherton. Not all jobs on the town’s waterfront can be done by town employees. Someone knowledgeable needs to supervise this work, Atherton said.

“My point is, if you have a harbormaster, and he’s competent, why wouldn’t you want him to supervise activities at the wharf?” Atherton asked. “If the harbormaster doesn’t keep track of those guys, who is?”

Chairman Kathi Thurston responded by saying the town manager or another town employee knowledgeable about a particular project would oversee the work. Her response fell flat.

“To me, he has to supervise stuff,” Atherton said of the harbormaster. “That’s why he’s there.”

Another resident, Kevin Buck, agreed.

“I would expect that supervising would be part of the job description,” he said.

Atherton asked selectmen if they planned to ask the harbor committee for comments about the draft job description before the board adopts the description.

“I’m under the impression that job descriptions are done by the selectmen,” responded Stewart Murphy.

Atherton asked for clarification. “Was that a yes or a no?”

“That was a no,” Murphy replied.

Atherton was not satisfied.

“I thought you would want to consult with the harbor committee,” he said. “It’s a question of cooperation. I think you would want to get as much input as you can.”

Selectmen ignored the comments and went on to approve a motion to have interim town manager Dana Reed amend the draft job description to reflect changes made that night and bring the document back at the board’s next meeting.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

Latest posts by Mark Good (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.