Appointments on tap for TC

Sep 14, 2020 by

Published in the September 14, 2020 edition.


WAKEFIELD – Appointments to boards and commissions top the agenda for tonight’s Town Council meeting.

The council is expected to meet in in joint session with the Planning Board to appoint two individuals to fill vacancies on the Planning Board. New members are also expected to be appointed to the Commission on Disability Issues.

The Town Council is also expected to appoint a new Public Works Facility Feasibility Subcommittee to aid the Permanent Building Committee in looking at options for a new or upgraded Public Works Facility.

Tonight’s Town Council agenda also includes a discussion of the “Human Rights Commission Appointment process.”

Three citizens have submitted letters and resumes for the two openings on the Planning Board: Edward Linehan a professional marketing manager living at 212 Nahant St.; Joanne Scouler of 51A Chestnut St., a writer and trainer; and Megan Menesale of 24 Armory St., a marketing professional.

For the Commission on Disability Issues, a letter from co-Chair Lorna J. Davidson Connelly recommends appointing all three applicants: Levonne Coughlin of Summer Street, Cheryl Callanan of Walter Avenue and Maeve Conway of Paon Boulevard.

Public Works Director Joseph Conway has submitted his list of recommendations for appointment to the Public Works Facility Feasibility Subcommittee. They include former DPW Director Richard Stinson and Joseph Harrington as citizen appointments. Conway’s remaining recommendations to serve on the committee include himself as DPW Director; Ann Waitt, DPW Business Manager; William Renault, Town Engineer; Christopher Hunt, DPW Field Operations Manager; and Christopher Pierce, Building Manager.

The discussion of the Human Rights Commission appointment process may amount to a clarification of the procedure. Since its creation about five years ago, the Town Council has appointed three members and the School Committee has appointed three members to the Human Rights Commission.

However, the WHRC bylaws call for that breakdown only for the initial appointments. Thereafter, the Town Council and the School Committee are supposed to jointly appoint successors and replacements. There are currently four vacancies on the HRC as a result of resignations stemming from the conduct of several members at a subcommittee meeting last May.

Tonight’s Town Council meeting agenda also includes a request to refer a proposed Zoning Bylaw change to the Planning Board for a public hearing. The proposed change would give the Zoning Board of Appeals the ability to allow reductions and/or increases to the floor area ratio, maximum building coverage, minimum open area and front yard setback requirements for a bank building in the business district.

The requested Zoning Bylaw changes have been submitted by 21 registered voters as well as by The Savings Bank.

Tonight’s meeting will include a public hearing at 7:15 related to a utility pole placement on Murray Street.

Several recommendations from the Traffic Advisory Committee are also on the Town Council’s agenda for tonight.

There will be a motion tonight to set the 2020 Regular Town Meeting for Saturday, Nov. 7 at 8 a.m. There will be a motion to open the Regular Town Meeting warrant and to set Oct. 8 at 4:30 p.m. as the closing date for the warrant.

The Town Council is expected tonight to transfer $1 million from the General Fund to the Debt Service/Capital Needs account.

The Town Council is also expected to vote to request special legislation as authorized in Article 21 of the June 20th, 2020 Annual Town Meeting related to the maximum age for retired Wakefield Police officers to work details.

Consistent with the Governor’s orders suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law and banning gatherings of more than 10 people, tonight’s Town Council meeting will be conducted by remote participation to the greatest extent possible. The public may not physically attend this meeting, but every effort will be made to allow the public to view and/or listen to the meeting in real time.

Persons who wish to do so are invited to click on the following link If you do not have a camera or microphone on your computer you may use the following dial in number: 1-646-558-8656 Meeting ID 832 8272 6203.

Tonight’s meeting will also be televised by WCAT and may be viewed live on WCAT’s Facebook page. 

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