Change Was Wanted
For decades upon decades, Republicans have usually held the majority on the Board of Selectmen (BOS) and therefore had the votes to not appoint anyone who would change Republican control of chairs and leadership of committees and commissions. When I was on the Board of Selectmen, we knew we were in the minority and never put up a candidate who wouldn’t be approved.
Each commissioner or committee member has a term, either four or five years. Some members have been re-appointed for several terms. There is no guarantee that a re-appointment will occur at the end of the term just because a member is on a commission or committee, and there shouldn’t be. That’s how we get entrenched/stagnant government.
It appears that the Republicans want one standard for Republican majority and one standard for Democratic majority. Here’s one example that’s specific to the Planning & Zoning Commission (PZC). Christine Poutot was the Republican chair of PZC who in January 2012 and 2013 was unanimously appointed to chair by all commissioners. At the Dec. 16, 2013, BOS meeting, Poutot asked to re-appointed to PZC because the Republican party had voted not to re-appoint her. At that point in time, the Republican and Democratic re-appointments were broken out and she asked to be added to the Republican reappointment. I was serving on the BOS at the time and moved to open the agenda to add her name. Al Goldberg seconded and our Republican counterparts voted “No” so she couldn’t be reappointed. They weren’t even open to allow for a discussion on the topic.
During the campaign season, one of the biggest topics heard when knocking on the doors was issues with PZC. It was evident that a change in leadership was wanted. Our BOS heard the voters and made the change.
Joan Walker chairs the Democratic Town Committee.