Council approves Town Manager contract

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 9:45am

After about five weeks of negotiations, the Town of New Shoreham has agreed to a professional services contract with Edward Roberge, who was hired as Town Manager on Sept. 25. The Town Council voted 4-1 to approve the contract, with Councilor Chris Willi dissenting, at its special meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 8. 

Since Roberge’s contract is a draft document, and he needs to sign and return it, the Town Council did not release any details of the agreement.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity,” said Roberge, during an interview with The Times. “This has been a long and detailed process with the Town Council, and I appreciate their efforts. I’m ready to move forward with the town.”

As for when he might start, Roberge said he is hoping to begin “around the first or second week of January.” He said his current employer, the City of Concord, New Hampshire, where he works as City Engineer, is “fully aware” of his impending departure.

Roberge noted that he was hoping to secure housing on Block Island “within the next week. We have a couple of options.” He and his wife will be relocating from Bow, New Hampshire. “We’re trying to figure out which one we think fits the best,” he said. “Now I have first-hand experience with the island’s housing situation, and I’m ready for the challenge.”

First Warden Ken Lacoste said, “It has been a long process, but one that I'm sure will be worth it in the long run.”

Councilor André Boudreau told The Times that “It’s a relief” coming to contractual terms with Roberge. “It’s a year to the date that I was elected to the Town Council, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to present a Town Manager of this caliber to the town. I think he’s going to be great. He’s a professional,” added Boudreau. “We will learn from him. It’s so good to get this done.”

Councilor Chris Willi said, “We can’t discuss specifics of the contract at this time, but I voted no because it wasn’t agreeable to me. I want to be clear that this is not a vote against Mr. Roberge, I very much support his hiring and look forward to working with him.”

Town Clerk Molly Fitzpatrick noted that the agreement is a draft document until it is signed and returned by Roberge. The Town Council will vote on the final document at its Nov. 15 meeting.