Town Manager talks ongoing

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 9:30am

It’s been more than five weeks since the Town Council named Edward Roberge as the new Town Manager, yet due to a housing challenge Roberge still hasn’t come to terms with the town or moved into office. Despite that, Councilor André Boudreau, who has been assisting Roberge with his housing search, told The Block Island Times that, “We’re very close.”

First Warden Ken Lacoste said, “The Town Council has been communicating with Ed Roberge, and hope to have our efforts come to fruition very soon.” The Council went into closed session regarding Roberge’s contract on Wednesday.

Town Clerk Molly Fitzpatrick said the Council voted unanimously “to ‘Continue the item to 12 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3 at Town Hall.’ They are waiting on an item before they can act, so if they receive it they will go forward Friday.”

Roberge, who is currently City Engineer for the City of Concord in New Hampshire, would be relocating from Bow, New Hampshire. On Sept. 29, Roberge posted a message on the Block Island Bulletin Board regarding his family’s pursuit of housing on the island.

In the email, Roberge noted that his family was looking for either “a three-bedroom or two-bedroom cottage with a bonus room.” After being reached for comment on Monday, Oct. 30, Roberge told The Times that there was “no new news to report,” and that he is “still working closely with the (Town) Council.” 

Roberge visited the island on Oct. 12 to look at three properties, and revisited the island the following weekend. On Oct. 18, he said he was “getting closer to some possibilities that could work.” 

On Sept. 25, the Council voted unanimously (4-0), with Councilor Chris Willi absent, to name Roberge as Town Manager, pending a contract agreement. The Council appointed former Town Manager Jim Lathrop at a work session on Nov. 2, 2016. He resigned on Feb. 8, 2017. Shirlyne Gobern has been serving as the Interim Town Manager ever since.