Yarmouth Town Administrator Search Remains in Limbo

CCB MEDIA PHOTO: Yarmouth Selectman Michael Stone

CCB MEDIA PHOTO: Yarmouth Selectman Michael Stone

YARMOUTH – Yarmouth Selectmen Michael Stone and James Quirk have again refused to change their vote on a new town administrator, despite a clear message sent last month by town meeting voters.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, another attempt to hire Assistant Town Administrator Peter Johnson-Staub failed to get the needed 4/5ths majority, with Quirk and Stone voting no.

Both were defiant in their comments, saying they would not be forced to support Johnson-Staub, even though a majority of voters at town meeting supported the move in a non-binding vote.

“It’s not personal and I’m not trying not to do my job. And frankly, I’ve listened to a lot of people trying to tell me how to do my job, instead of asking me about my job,” said Quirk.

Yarmouth’s town administrator search has been in limbo for months. Johnson-Staub and another candidate were the two finalists in the search completed earlier this year.

Stone said he won’t be pushed into a decision.

“Nobody has gotten me to vote one way or the other. I’m a very independent thinker, I’m a very independent person. If Jim Quirk agrees with me or disagrees with me, it doesn’t affect my decision,” said Stone.

Selectmen Erik Tolley, Tracy Post and Norman Holcomb supported Johnson-Staub, while Stone and Quirk wanted John Salamone of Connecticut, who later dropped out of consideration.

“Peter deserves a shot. He has served the town well and has many advocates in town and I think that’s a good reason to move ahead,” said Holcomb.

After last night’s failed attempt to again hire Johnson-Staub, the board voted to conduct a new search that will include a new committee made up of five people, one chosen by each selectman.

Voters at the May town meeting rejected an article seeking money for a new search, and in an overwhelming non-binding vote, said they wanted Johnson-Staub.

At last night’s meeting, both Quirk and Stone said they would not be swayed by the will of the residents.

By MATT PITTA, CapeCod.com News Director

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