Search committee picks top candidates for Bristol harbormaster


Before harbormaster search committee chairman, David Barboza, presented the top three harbormaster candidates – in alphabetical order – to the town council on Wednesday night, he joked about the months of screening and interviewing that brought them to this point.

“People have said it took less time to elect a pope than it did to come up with our recommendation,” he said.

After explaining the process and procedures used to ensure that each candidate received a fair evaluation, even going as far as using Skype to interview a candidate who was captaining a vessel in New Orleans, Mr. Barboza presented the finalists’ names - Matt Calouro, Gregg Marsilli and David Sylvaria, Jr.

Matt Calouro is currently the interim harbormaster, after serving as Bristol’s assistant harbormaster under Joe Cabral. Gregg Marsilli is currently servings in the U.S. Coast Guard as the Officer in Charge at the Aids to Navigation Station in Bristol. David Sylvaria, Jr. is currently a fleet captain for Blount Small Ship Adventures, with 16 years experience in the maritime industry.

“The process was very thorough,” said David Barboza, chairman of the search committee.

Initially, 18 applicants expressed interest in the job. After cutting the field in half based on residency requirements and other criteria, the committee used a rating scale to arrive at the top three candidates.

“The top three all have their captain’s licenses in hand,” said Mr. Barboza. “When we tabulated all the scores, even if we factored in other candidates having their licenses, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome.”

Prior to Wednesday’s town council meeting, the finalists were notified that they would be interviewed by the council and those not selected received a letter to thank them for their interest.

The next step in the hiring process will be for the town council to meet with and interview each candidate separately before selecting one for the position.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.