EAST PROVIDENCE — Despite showing interest in a similar position on Martha’s Vineyard, East Providence City Manager Peter Graczykowski says he is working with the City Council and Budget Commission on a new contract and is committed to staying put.
It was recently reported in two Vineyard newspapers Mr. Graczykowski was one of three finalists for the vacant town administrator position of Tisbury, Mass.Stories in both the Martha’s Vineyard Times and the Vineyard Gazette dated Feb. 5 reported John W. Grande was chosen as the new Tisbury town administrator from a pool of three finalists, among whom Mr. Graczykowski was counted.
Mr. Grande fills the post, which has been open since October of last year.
“It sounds like they’ve picked their favorite,” Mr. Graczykowski said during a phone interview Thursday, Feb. 7. “My focus right now is on this city. I’m in the middle of contract negotiations with the Council and the Budget Commission. Hopefully we’ll come to an agreement and hopefully I’m here to stay.”
According to earlier stories in both papers, Mr. Grande, Mr. Graczykowski and Sally Rizzo were chosen by a search committee for second interviews, which took place Saturday, Feb. 1.
Mr. Grande was most recently the planning board director for the city of Framingham and Ms. Rizzo is a project manager at the Massachusetts State Retirement Board.
The newspapers first reported the finalists in stories emanating from the Tisbury Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday night, Jan. 22.
Speculation, locally, intensified about Mr. Graczykowski’s possible departure after it was revealed he had recently purchased property on the Vineyard and that residence on the island was being used as one of the qualifications for the Tisbury town administrator post.
The report in the Vineyard Times on Jan. 22 quoted a search committee member as saying that “among the requirements, candidates had to be willing to live on the island. Former town administrator John Bugbee commuted from the mainland. Ms. Rizzo owns a house in Tisbury. Mr. Graczykowski bought a house in Edgartown (in January). Mr. Grande is a longtime Island visitor.”
A search of Massachusetts property records confirmed a report by the Vineyard Gazette Mr. Graczykowski recently bought a home in Edgartown. The purchase price was $515,000.
“It’s an investment property out there. I don’t know why people are making such a big deal about it,” Mr. Graczykowski said of the purchase.
Throughout the process, Mr. Graczykowski remained adamant in stating he wished to remain in East Providence as city manager if he could come to terms on a new contract, which it appears is close to happening.
“I haven’t had a contract with the city for over a year. I’m looking for some stability in East Providence. I love the job. And I think I do a very good job here every day I come into the office. But again I’m looking for some stability. I would like to see some investment from the city in my position,” Mr. Graczykowski said during a previous interview conducted within the last few weeks.
He added at that time, “I hope to stay here a long time. If the city came to me with a contract, I would sign it and stay. There’s no other city right now I can think of where I would face the kind of challenges and to be able to affect the kind of changes like I can do here.”
While offering no comment on specific details, City Council President/Mayor James Briden confirmed the parties are working on a deal to keep Mr. Graczykowski in place.
“We want to get a contract in place for him, which I think exists for city managers in other cities,” Mr. Briden said. “That’s our immediate objective.”