Can David Dolce serve as both the tax assessor and without violating the town charter? The town solicitor says no.
“The appointment of the tax assessor as town administrator was lawful. However, as Seveney points out, a person cannot hold two offices at the same time,” Town Solicitor D.A. D’Andrea said at Tuesday's Town Council meeting.
On July 25, the Portsmouth Town Council surprisingly appointed as interim town administrator. The vote was 4-3 with Michael Buddemeyer, Jim Seveney and Keith Hamilton in opposition.
Dolce was expected to temporarily serve as both tax assessor and town administrator for up to six months, while the council seeks a replacement for longtime administrator who announced in April he would not seek a renewal of his contract.
However, not everyone believed the appointment on July 25 was in accordance with the town charter.
Seveney requested the town solicitor to check Article IX, 901, of the town charter, which says "no employee shall hold simultaneously more than one (1) paid position for the Town."
“Upon becoming interim town administrator, he (Dolce) will have to resign as tax assessor unless he takes a leave of office as tax assessor," D'Andrea said on Tuesday.
Dolce told the council he would need time to consider his next step.
“I wasn’t prepared for the opinion of the solicitor," he said. "I will need to take some time to think about this."
Council Vice President Judi Staven, who presided over her first meeting due to the absence of Joe Robicheau, asked Dolce to return to the council with a decision by Aug. 22.