By Beth David, Editor
The Fairhaven Select Board voted to hire Angelina “Angie” Lopes Ellison for the Town Administrator position at its meeting on 2/28/22. The board and Ms. Ellison have been negotiating the terms of her contract in executive sessions since her interview on 2/10.
Ms. Ellison’s start date is 3/23/22. Her salary will be $163,000 per year. Other details of the contract were not immediately available as some changes needed to be made. Board members will each sign it this week.
Mr. Espindola also addressed a situation involving the search process. He said it was brought to his attention that someone dropped out as a candidate after hearing from “someone at town hall” that the board was looking for “someone of a different gender.”
Mr. Espindola said the seriousness of the allegation should not be ignored and categorically denied that any such bias was part of the process.
He asked the board to address the allegation and to state publicly that they pledge to govern in a manner that is not discriminatory.
“I agree,” said Ms. Powers. “The whole point of equality is that everybody be treated equally.”
She said that means no preference of one over the other, and everyone has a chance.
She said the screening committee was “fantastic” and presented candidates with varied experience.
“All of them were being judged on their qualifications,” said Ms. Powers.
Select Board member Keith Silvia agreed, saying the screening committee members did their job.
Mr. Espindola said they were all “stating the obvious,” but someone felt that way.
Acting TA Wendy Graves said it was the first she had heard of it and asked if the board wanted her to follow up on it.
Mr. Espindola said he did not want to find out who said it. He just wanted the message to come from the board: “That’s not who we are.”
He added that if anyone thinks that is why Ms. Ellison was hired, he wanted to assure them that it is “absolutely false.”
“She was the best candidate,” he said, she was one of the top three.
“Out of 39,” added Mr. Silvia.
In another matter, the board changed the date of the annual Town Meeting to June 18. Town Moderator Mark Sylvia suggested the change, saying that everyone wants to be able to have the meeting in person.
“I know I would love to meet in person,” said Mr. Sylvia.
Although that is not a guarantee by that date, he said there was a better chance that COVID restrictions would be relaxed enough by then to hold the meeting in person. He said if circumstances do not allow for that, the meeting can still be held remotely.
It will also give the new TA a little more time to get acclimated.
The board also approved the hiring of two police officers and K9 Blue.
Andrew Dillon and Ethan Horsley graduated from the Plymouth Police Academy on 2/18/22. Officer Dillon earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Crime and Justice with a minor in Business Management from Suffolk University.
Officer Horsley earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Bridgewater University. Both are residents of the Town of Fairhaven.
Officer Jillion Jodoin is K9 Blue’s handler and they trained together at the Bristol County Narcotics Detection Dog Academy and graduated on December 3. Officer Jodoin and K9 Blue participated in just over 400 hours of training, conducted twelve narcotic searches, five community policing calls, and five demonstrations.
Fairhaven police chief Michael Myers introduced all three to the Select Board. He said K9 Blue is trained to detect eight scents. He will be trained in human scent for tracking, and will be trained as a comfort dog.
Acting Town Clerk Linda Fredette swore in the officers (yes, Blue, too) during the meeting. All three received a badge, and Blue received a Town of Fairhaven dog license with the number 911 on it.
Louise Dillon, Andrew’s mother, pinned his badge on his uniform; and Wendy Horsley, Ethan’s mother, pinned his badge on his uniform.
After the ceremony, outside the meeting room, family members and police department personnel gathered for a few minutes to congratulate the new officers and take pictures.
“I’m excited,” said Officer Dillon. “It’s been a dream to be a police officer and serve my town.”
Officer Dillon grew up in Fairhaven and graduates from Fairhaven High School.
He said he had just finished his first full week.
“I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do it,” he said, adding that he was looking forward to finishing his training.
“I’m excited and nervous,” said Andrew’s mother Louise. “I’m proud of him. It’s something he’s always wanted to do.”
She said he grew up near Sgt. Stephen Foster, and seeing his neighbor drive by in the cruiser made an impression on Andrews.
“I feel good,” said Officer Horsley, adding that he was learning a lot on his shifts. “The department, all of them have been great, to make sure we understand the job and do it correctly.”
“I love it,” he said. “It’s nice to serve the community I grew up in.”
“I’m very proud, very nervous,” said Ethan’s mother Wendy. “Lot’s of emotion, but mostly proud.”
The board also voted to remove the parking meter for credit card payments at Hoppy’s Landing. Marine Resources Committee Chairperson Mike McNamara, and Harbormaster Tim Cox told the board that numerous high fees resulted in the process actually costing the town money. The volume at Hoppy’s for credit card users is just not high enough. Ramp users can pay with cash or by check, which is how payments are made at Pease Park and Seaview Avenue.
Click here to download the entire 3/3/22 issue: 03-03-22 NewOfficers
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