County Commissioners to Vote on Cape Cod Commission Executive Director Vacancy

BARNSTABLE – Barnstable County Commissioners will decide this week on what to do with the pending vacancy atop the Cape Cod Commission.

The Board is faced with a decision over what to do when current Executive Director Paul Niedzwiecki departs the organization for a new position as Executive Director of the SouthField Redevelopment Authority beginning early next month.

The Commission’s executive committee has voted to recommend that Deputy Director Kristy Senatori be elevated at acting executive director of the regional planning authority.

In a letter to commissioners, Cape Cod Commission Chairman Harold Mitchell recommended that “due to budgetary constraints there not be an outside search at this time, and that an acting executive director be made from within.”

Commission Vice Chairman Ron Beatty has committed to a full outside search.

“Speaking as one individual Barnstable County Commissioner, for the sake of open, transparent and accountable regional government, I strongly believe a search committee should be impaneled at the earliest opportunity to find a new Cape Cod Commission Executive Director,” he said in an online statement.

Commissioner Mary-Pat Flynn has not attended several recent meetings over the last several months, and has indicated that she will not be able to attend this Wednesday’s meeting either unless the timing is adjusted to better suit her schedule.

According to an email from County Administrator Jack Yunits to Commissioners Chairman Leo Cakounes, Flynn is burdened with “personal but very important” circumstances which would make it impossible for her to attend the meeting without the chair changing the schedule.

If Flynn is not there, then Beatty will be able to hold up the promotion. If she is, then it all comes down to Cakounes.

In his public comments, Cakounes has given indications that he is not anxious for a search for a new executive director.

“I think that not only the cost would be an issue,” said Cakounes, “I’m not sure it would be proper to bring someone new in at this time when we may have some possible charter changes coming down the road.”

He went on to say that he is not entirely clear on what would happen if his fellow commissioners reject the Executive Board’s proposal,

“I imagine they could say we want you to negotiate with the chair of the executive committee and you either come up with another name or suggest that we go out for a search right now,” said Cakounes,

“That’s the only really two options that are on the table.”

While presenting his resignation to commissioners at their meeting earlier this month, Niedzwiecki, who was hired through a full search, highlighted his succession plan, and the qualifications of Senitori.

The Commissioners have also been publicly urged to hire Senatori by other county officials. Assembly of Delegates Dennis Representative John Ohman urged to board to hire Senatori at a recent meeting.


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