Marion Selectmen to interview three Town Administrator finalists next week

Apr 3, 2019

MARION — As Town Administrator Paul Dawson prepares to step down from his position, the Board of Selectmen selected three candidates that they will interview to take his position on April 8 at 2 p.m. The candidates are Debra Blanchette, James McGrail and Adam Wilson. 

Paradigm Associates Consultant Bernard Lynch, who is helping with the hiring process, presented the three candidates to the board. This is the second set of finalists, after most of the first finalists for the position dropped out for various reasons. 

Lynch said Blanchette is a resident of Marion who at one point in time served as the town clerk treasurer/collector.  Lynch said Blanchette is familiar with Marion and municipal issues, with an emphasis in finance. Currently, she is the treasurer for the town of Barnstable and its school department. Lynch said she would make a strong candidate. “All of her experience and education and knowledge of the town made her worthy to be a finalist,” Lynch said.

He said Wilson wanted to get involved with the municipal government and move off Martha’s Vineyard. According to Lynch, Wilson got a degree in public administration and spent some time on Capital Hill as a legislative aide to Senator John Tower of Texas. On the Vineyard, Wilson has served as Aquinnah’s town administrator for six years and was involved with many town projects such as the relocation of the town’s prominent lighthouse, Gay Head Light. 

McGrail has been heavily involved with the Sandwich school communities as the director of facilities in Sandwich Public Schools and is a member of the Sandwich School Committee. McGrail was Lynch’s student while he was in a graduate program specializing in local government administration at Suffolk University. McGrail graduated from in 2018 with honors. Lynch said McGrail plans to commute to Marion from Sandwich.

Lynch said to the Board he was pleased with who he chose as the finalists for the position after sorting out potential finalists. “I actually think that we have a strong deal,” said Lynch, “so I’m comfortable with where we are at this time.”

The interview will be held at the Marion Police Department at 550 Mill St and is open to the public.