Town Manager contract approved

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 9:45am

With a contract finalized and now signed, Edward Roberge will begin as Town Manager on Monday, Jan. 8.

Roberge agreed to a five-year term, which includes a six-month probationary period, with a salary of $119,652 in his first year on the job. He will be provided a housing stipend of up to $2,000 per month for up to 18 months. Under the terms of the contract, Roberge “shall accrue, and have credited to the Town Manager’s account per pay period, vacation at the rate of sixteen (16) hours per month.” The Town Manager may also accumulate up to 80 hours of vacation time and roll that into the new year. The Manager will accumulate eight hours of sick time per month, and can accumulate as much as 720 hours of sick leave into the new calendar year; “all other sick leave shall be lost.”

According to the contract, Roberge’s health insurance package, which includes disability insurance payments, premium payments for health and dental insurance, a family plan, “in which the Town Manager shall become enrolled as an employee of the Town with all premium shares and co-pays commensurate with prevailing New Shoreham Employees Association-negotiated premium shares and co-pays.” Life insurance is also included in the package. The town will also provide the new Town Manager with a cell phone, or if he chooses to use his own, he will be reimbursed $75 monthly by the town for town business use.

Second Warden Norris Pike made the motion to accept the terms of the contract, seconded by Councilor Martha Ball. First Warden Ken Lacoste signed the contract at the meeting, which was witnessed by Pike. Lacoste informed the community that Roberge submitted his signed draft of the agreement to the Town Council on Tuesday.

After the meeting, Lacoste told The Block Island Times that Roberge’s five-year agreement demonstrates his commitment to serving the community. He also said part of Roberge’s delay in beginning his tenure, besides searching for housing on Block Island, is due to some unfinished business working as City Engineer for the City of Concord, New Hampshire. Roberge has been the City Engineer of Concord since 2005.

As for housing, Lacoste said that while Roberge is looking for a long-term housing solution, he currently has three housing options that could be leased for an 18-month period.  “It’s been an eye-opening experience trying to find him housing,” said Lacoste, who along with Councilor André Boudreau has aided Roberge with his search. Roberge will be relocating, along with his wife, from his current home in Bow, New Hampshire.

“First of all, I would like to thank the Block Island community, especially the Town Council and the Town Manager selection committees for their dedicated and thorough efforts to make this possible,” Roberge said in a statement to The Times. “Throughout the selection process as well as my visits to Block Island, I have always felt invited and welcomed. My family and I are quite excited to join the Block Island community. I am very excited to join an outstanding staff and work closely with the Block Island leadership and community. See you all very soon!”