January 12, 2017
Pictured is Marblehead’s new harbormaster, Mark Souza.
By GAYLA CAWLEY
MARBLEHEAD — Town officials have chosen Mark Souza as their next harbormaster, a position that’s essential in a waterfront community.
Souza, deputy harbormaster in Beverly for the past six years, was unanimously hired by the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday night, following a brief job interview. Souza said he also served as an assistant harbormaster in Beverly.
“It would be the growth perspective,” Souza said of why he was interested in the job. “I wanted to become the harbormaster. I’m very excited. Lifelong goal.”
Souza said when he starts his new job he’ll first focus on customer service, his availability to the public and getting the lay of the land. He was born and raised in Tewksbury, but has always loved the North Shore.
“Marblehead has a fantastic history, which makes it very attractive,” Souza said.
The range for the full-time position is between $64,000 and $85,000, with contract negotiations and a decision on the start date pending, according to Town Administrator John McGinn. But he said the start date could potentially be mid-February.
Marblehead Harbormaster Webb Russell resigned several months ago to move onto other opportunities. He’s been the town’s harbormaster for five years. His last day is March 15, according to McGinn.
“Webb’s been a very good guy in that role, but I certainly respect his desire to move onto other challenges,” McGinn said.
Russell could not be reached for comment.
The harbormaster is responsible for managing the harbor enterprise fund and its budget, along with the administration, operation and revenue generation associated with the town’s harbors and related facilities or properties, according to a job description.
“I’d like to welcome you to Marblehead Harbor, the birthplace of the American Navy,” said Harry Christensen, a member of the board of selectmen, to Souza after his job interview.
Following Russell’s resignation, a selection committee was formed, made up of two members of the Harbors and Waters Board, the board that oversees the harbormaster, and McGinn.
The position was posted, with the search process conducted in November and December. Two rounds of interviews were conducted, and the selection committee collectively made the recommendation that Souza was the best person for the job, McGinn said. The harbors and waters board interviewed Souza on Tuesday and recommended him to the selectmen.
McGinn said Souza was selected because of his extensive experience in harbor management, his certification by the Massachusetts Harbormasters Association, his management style and his solid references from other local harbormasters.
Gayla Cawley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.