Committee quickly narrows field of applicants for Bristol harbormaster

Committee quickly narrows field of applicants for Bristol harbormaster


bristol harbor patrolThe harbormaster search committee began the vetting process on Tuesday night, when, for the first time since the group was assembled, they reviewed the list of 18 candidates who expressed interest in becoming Bristol’s next harbormaster.

In about an hour, the list of 18 potential candidates dwindled to seven. And within the next 24 hours, that number may be reduced by two or three more.

Five candidates were eliminated simply based on their town of residence.

“The ruling from the council is that they were to be a Bristol resident,” said committee chairman, David Barboza.

That, he said, was a matter of policy. The applicants from Warren, Tiverton, Middletown and Marion, Mass. were marked ineligible.

The lack of information provided by some candidates on their applications made it difficult for the committee to evaluate other criteria. One candidate included a PowerPoint vision of how he would contribute to the economic development of the waterfront district, while another submitted a one paragraph note expressing his desire for the job.

“We need to ask for resumes,” said committee vice chairman, Alayne White, frustrated that some candidates didn’t provide a comprehensive summary of their qualifications, experiences and credentials with their application.

Still, using the information they did have, the committee was able to cull the list some more.

Seven candidates who don’t currently possess a US Coast Guard Captain license with 25 ton or greater endorsement were removed from the field. Three others, who did not specify on their application or letter of intent whether he held a current, valid license, will be contacted for clarification. All remaining candidates will be asked to furnish a copy of their valid, current US Coast Guard Captain’s license before any are selected for an interview.

On Wednesday evening, Feb. 13, the committee will update the town council on its progress as the search narrows to find the top three harbormaster candidates.


  1. They threw out applicants that lived out of town? Really? They couldn’t just require that the successful candidate move to Bristol in order to keep the job? Isn’t that how our police department does it? Limiting the pool to just Bristol residents makes me think there is a favor in here for someone.

    • I agree! To get the best candidate pool, the search parameters have to be expanded beyond Bristol. A candidate should be able to relocate and a candidate should be able to complete the Coast Guard application within a reasonable time period for his license. This is a 2 week course followed by a Coast Guard exam. A Captain’s license is required to charter a boat, this is not the case with a HM. The HM is not taking passengers on charter. Though they should have a clue to the rules of navigation and if they have a license, it should include a towing endorsement.

      I personally know a handful of the candidates: all of whom have multiple traits that would make for a great HM. Some lack the current prerequisites, which could be cured within a reasonable time period. In fact, most serious candidates have invested in the training courses and are just held up by the Coast Guard’s approval delays. Others, if given the opportunity, would happily move to Bristol to secure the position. Bristol has become very affordable since RWU has chosen to create more housing on campus because we continue to bust their chops. That is for another blog. (and now let’s try to get a federal grant for a new HM rescue boat or marina expansion, when you limit the HM position to a local.)

      I think many of the candidates that were thrown out with the bath water were highly qualified. I happen to like the interim HB and the many skills that he possesses. I just don’t understand, for example, how a local long time, Bristol volunteer firefighter is passed over, due to paperwork or a retired police officer, with HB credentials in both Providence and Warren is passed over though arbitrary prerequisites. And as a taxpayer, we toss the opportunity to employ a qualified candidate, that doesn’t need taxpayer’s money for health insurance and/or other benefits, as this is already on Providence’s dime?

      We take the risk on an elected town manager to handle a multi-million dollar budget: currently this office-holder is an educator, with no professional town management experience. This is not a shot, as Tony is learning the position, and from what I see, is dong a great job, with the help of tremendous department heads! Well if the HB master search committee was handling the Town Manager search committee, a great candidate like Mr. Texeria, would be surfing a wave down Chestnut Street with the bathwater!