Hot Mic At Select Board Meeting Captures Planning Director At Wits' End

Jason Graziadei •

A hot mic near the end of the Select Board’s three-hour strategic planning workshop meeting captured Nantucket Planning & Land Use Services director Andrew Vorce using some choice words to express his feelings about the marathon session.

As Select Board member Brooke Mohr was praising her colleagues for being able to disagree civilly and collaborate with the town administration, Vorce’s microphone comes on.

“Jesus, I’m ready to shoot myself in the head,” Vorce can be heard saying.

The Select Board members on the Zoom meeting and other town employees participating reacted with a mix of laughter and shocked silence, while assistant town manager Gregg Tivnan tries to tell Vorce his microphone is on. But Vorce continues talking to an unidentified person in the background.

“The strategic planning discussion by the Select Board, oh my fucking...”

The moderator of the meeting scrambles to mute Vorce, while other participants continue to laugh or look concerned.

“Tell us how you really think,” Select Board member Matt Fee says.

In an e-mail response to the Current over the weekend, Vorce explained what happened and described it as an “unfortunate, minor mistake” during the Zoom meeting.

“A portion of my private conversation was accidentally broadcast through my iPhone after I thought I had left the Zoom meeting,” Vorce said. “I was tired and expressed my feelings of the moment on another phone. I am completely supportive of the Select Board’s strategic planning and in no way should those 42 seconds be interpreted as disparaging them or the Town Manager.”

While the the official recording of the meeting was edited to bleep-out Vorce’s words in the version that appears on the town’s YouTube page, the Nantucket Current requested and received the unedited version of the meeting. You can watch that version above.

Vorce isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last to have comments that were meant to be private broadcasted accidentally during a public Zoom meeting. As municipalities and businesses adopted the technology during the pandemic to comply with restrictions on meeting in person, such incidents have happened across the country. While the Nantucket Select Board has returned to a hybrid-style meeting for its weekly Wednesday night sessions (meeting in-person while allowing remote participation), other town boards and committees continue to meet exclusively via Zoom, as allowed by the state law implemented during the pandemic and extended through March 31, 2023.

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