The Rehoboth Beach commissioners have set a special meeting to vote on a new city manager despite controversy at their candidate's current post.
The commissioners are set to offer the job to Sharon Lynn, town manager of Provincetown, Mass. A special meeting will be held at 9 a.m., Monday, Dec. 2, to approve a contract.
Lynn leaves Provincetown just as an independent investigation into the conduct of Provincetown’s police chief, Jeff Jaren, is unveiled. Jaren was suspended in September following a no-confidence vote by the town’s police union.
According to the Cape Cod Times, Jaren was involved in an incident at a Provincetown restaurant when the N.W.A. song “F––– Tha Police” was played.
Lynn was responsible for hiring Jaren. News reports say she at first dismissed the allegations but later suspended Jaren after the no confidence vote. Before Provincetown police were also involved in a separate police brutality case later settled out of court.
Commissioner Patrick Gossett, chairman of the city’s personnel committee, said the commissioners were aware of the police issues before Lynn interviewed.
“She meets the qualifications. You’ve got baggage with anybody, in essence. Those issues were discussed,” he said. “There’s nothing to hide.”
Mayor Sam Cooper also said Lynn was vetted over the police chief issue, but he said Lynn was not at liberty to discuss the issue while Jaren was on suspension. Cooper said details of Lynn’s contract would be available to the public before the Dec. 2 special meeting.
Cooper said he was satisfied with the hire of Lynn. She will step into the shoes of Greg Ferrese, who is retiring after 31 years. He said people he’s talked to, including Rip Copithorn, engineer on Rehoboth’s wastewater outfall, have met Lynn and spoken highly of her.
According to news accounts, Lynn told the Provincetown Board of Selectmen she was leaving, but she did not respond to requests for comment. Her salary was $141,000 as the town manager in Provincetown. Her salary in Rehoboth has not yet been disclosed; the city's advertised salary range was $90,000 to $110,000 per year; Ferrese was salaried at $95,000 per year.
Other than Gossett and Cooper, the commissioners were also mum on Lynn because contract negotiations are ongoing. Commissioners Lorraine Zellers, Bill Sargent and Toni Sharp referred questions to Gossett.