Meetings are held remotely. Go to provincetown-ma.gov and click on the meeting you want to watch.
Thursday, Feb. 11
- Other Post-Employment Benefits meeting, 2:30 p.m.
- Planning Board, 6 p.m.
- Public Pier Corp., 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 16
- Finance Committee, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 17
- Historic District Commission, 4 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 18
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 6 p.m.
As of Feb. 8, there were two active cases of Covid-19 in Provincetown, which has recorded 79 total cases and one death from the virus, according to the town.
Police Station Redux
Provincetown still needs a new police station, and the select board found out on Feb. 8 that the new price tag is $14.4 million. That’s up from the $12.5 million plan that lost by nine votes at a 2019 town meeting, said Interim Town Manager Charlie Sumner.
The select board members who support construction of a new station strategized on how to sell the project to the public. Sumner recommended that they stick with the 2019 plan and location, at 16 Jerome Smith Road across from the former VFW building.
Chair David Abramson said the board needs to campaign for the project. Member Louise Venden said it would be worth hiring a public relations firm to help.
Sumner recommended hiring an architect to bring design and construction documents up to date. Fransburgh, the architects of the current design, could do it for $103,800 in four phases, but Sumner recommended the town hire them for one phase at a time, in the event momentum stalls.
Everyone on a board or committee appointed by the select board or town manager will soon receive a copy of a draft code of conduct for review.
The code spells out how to behave generally as a board member and particularly on social media. It has been vetted by the town’s attorney. It instructs all committee members to avoid “rude or unprofessional commentary, whether in person, in a public setting, or online.”
The code won’t necessarily end the battle between Lise King, Louise Venden, and finance committee member Mark Hatch. Hatch is accused of rude behavior on Facebook. But the finance committee is appointed by the moderator and thus not subject to the code of conduct.
In a related matter, Mark Del Franco, who recently resigned from the finance committee, has filed an Open Meeting Law complaint against the select board, which they discussed in executive session on Feb. 8. Del Franco, who did not return calls seeking comment, was publicly accused of muttering a vulgarity while defending Hatch at a select board meeting. It turned out to be John Golden of the select board, who said he was swearing in reaction to a technology glitch.
Horror Story Filming Delay
The 20th Century Fox film crew and cast of American Horror Story is not yet haunting the streets of Provincetown due to “internal” delays, said Interim Town Manager Charlie Sumner.
The town is still finalizing a location agreement with the studio. Filming was supposed to begin in February and end in March. While that timeline has been pushed back, the producers and the town are close to setting firm dates and details. The project is still on, Sumner said.
New Interim Directors
The board of the Fine Arts Work Center announced on Feb. 5 that Margaret Murphy had been appointed interim executive director, effective March 1. The current executive director, Richard MacMillan, had announced last August that he would step down by June 2021, after a tenure marked by charges of systemic racism and cancelations of programs and fellowships due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, a search committee, which has hired Arts Consulting Group of Boston, is hoping that a permanent executive director will be in place by May 1. MacMillan has volunteered to stay on as an adviser to “sustain fundraising momentum,” the board’s announcement stated.
Murphy served as executive director of FAWC from 2007 to 2012 and as president of the board from 2017 to 2019.
The changes at FAWC come less than two weeks after Blythe Frank, a film producer, announced that she had joined the Provincetown Film Society as interim executive director. The position had been vacant since last spring, after the organization’s staff, including then-CEO Rachael Brister, had been let go by the board due to the Covid lockdown and financial strains.
Since then, staff members have returned, though the Waters Edge Cinema, owned and operated by the film society, has not re-opened and has been offering films virtually. The film society’s other divisions, the Provincetown International Film Festival (set for June 16-25, 2021) and the Gabrielle A. Hanna Provincetown Film Institute (with its Women’s Media Summit expected in late March), have gone virtual as well.