After serving in the Coast Guard for 20 years, Chief Gregg Marsili will take on new duties as Bristol’s next harbormaster. After an extensive vetting process whittled down a field of 14 applicants to three qualified candidates, Mr. Marsili was chosen over interim harbormaster Matthew Calouro and David Sylvaria, Jr.
As part of the hiring process, the Bristol Town Council and Town Administrator Tony Teixeira interviewed each of the three top candidates in closed-door sessions. On Wednesday, May 22, the council reconvened in executive session and, after deliberating for more than two hours, chose Mr. Marsili. The decision was made 3-0, with Councilor Nathan Calouro, brother of candidate Matthew Calouro, recusing himself from the harbormaster discussions, and Councilor Edward Stuart Jr. abstaining.
A small gathering of interested parties waited inside Town Hall for the council’s decision. Prior to making the announcement public, the council communicated its decision to each of the three candidates while still in executive session.
Council Chairwoman Mary Parella issued a statement regarding the decision.
“Given the high importance of this position in Bristol, which has particularly attractive and active harbors, the council organized an especially thorough process of selection over a period of five months. Mr. Marsili was chosen based upon his outstanding credentials and demonstrated success in activities closely aligned to his duties as becoming harbormaster. The council considered the safety of the town’s waterways to be paramount, and cites Mr. Marsili’s experience as a demonstrated capability to provide strong, basic control of the harbor patrol function.”
The statement went on to acknowledge the service provided by interim harbormaster Matthew Calouro, thanking him for “his excellent leadership and service.”
Although the selection was made by a council majority, the position reports to the town administrator. Mr. Teixeira was satisfied with the council’s choice.
“All three candidates brought very strong points they could bring into the position,” said Mr. Teixeira. “It is unfortunate for Matt (Calouro). He’s invested 14 years in the system.”
Mr. Calouro held the position of full-time assistant harbormaster in Bristol, while his father-in-law, Joe Cabral, was part-time harbormaster. Upon Mr. Cabral’s retirement in December, Mr. Calouro agreed to become interim harbormaster while the position description and salary were redefined and a search committee assembled to screen applicants for the job. As a result of the reorganization of the department, the assistant harbormaster position has been eliminated in favor of a full-time harbormaster and administrative assistant. He also holds the harbormaster position for the Town of Warren.
Mr. Marsili’s qualifications include a bachelor of science in Management, extensive experience in maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, vessel maintenance, and navigation. Mr. Marsili, a recipient of many service accommodations, currently holds the rank of chief and is officer in charge at the Aids to Navigation station in Bristol.
The harbormaster salary is $58,000. Mr. Marsili will begin his new duties in June.