Nutfield News • April 15, 2010
Coyle Claims Politics Determine Vote on Planning Board Appointment
The town council has appointed new members to various boards and commit- tees in a slightly different way than in past sessions, which made the process run more smoothly. Not all appointments were smooth, however, as one councilor thinks an appointment to the planning board was a politi- cal move that threw away a valuable bond.
Chair Brad Benson said he sent an e-mail to his fel- low councilors stating he wanted to change the ap- pointment process because the public interview, which had been used in the past, is often intimidating.
year, any questions coun- cilors had of the appointees were asked in advance by the individual councilor
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vote for the Health Reform Bill when it allows the federal government to pay for abor- tions? The bill contains no such provision.
In order for our democra-
cy to survive, it is essential that we have an open and hon- est discussion of the critical issues facing our country, and to respect others views in a civil and non-threatening environment. New Hampshire has the
valued and respected distinc- tion of holding the First in the Nation Primary. In keeping with this historic tradition, New Hampshire should adopt the First in the Nation “Pledge of Civility” to be adhered to from town council meetings to all public forums. Mary Eisner Derry
directly to the applicant. Questions arose, howev-
er, when it was time to appoint three full members to the planning board. The council voted 6-0-1, with Brian Chirichiello abstain- ing because he is the liaison to the planning board, to reappoint Dave Granese and to appoint Jim MacEachern. Granese was most recently the chair, and MacEachern has served on the board pre- viously.
Benson nominated David McPherson for the third three-year position, which would expire March 31, 2013. Like MacEachern, McPherson had previously served on the board. How- ever, Councilor Kevin Coyle objected to the nomination and instead nominated Virginia Roach, whose term just expired. Roach has served at least two terms and
was most recently vice chair. Coyle said Roach had done nothing that deserved not being allowed to return, and noted that when McPherson was last on the planning board, he had resigned and then had what Coyle termed an incident with another board member. Councilor Janet Fairbanks seconded Coyle’s nomina- tion of Roach. Councilors David Milz, Joel Olbricht, Neil Wether- bee and Benson voted for McPherson, while Coyle and Fairbanks voted for Roach.
A three-year alternate position on the board remains open. Later, Coyle said he was disappointed in the vote and called it a political appoint- ment, saying McPherson had been instrumental in the recent election campaigns.
Coyle said such an appoint- ment threw away a valuable bond. Coyle later clarified his comment by saying, “The planning board picks this week were very political and were payback to the majori- ty’s supporter.”
In response to Coyle’s
comments, McPherson said, “Whatever historical event that Mr. Coyle referred to is just that, old history, and I believe that the majority of the town council carefully reviewed the applicants and chose who they felt were best suited to advocate the goals of the town.” Asked about her non- appointment, Roach said, “I am very proud of the work I did for seven years on the planning board.” Change is good,” Ben-
son said, “and change is occurring.”
There were few changes in the appointments of mem- bers to other boards and committees. The council un- animously appointed Randall Chase, Tom Caron, Mike Houghton and Steve Wall- ack to the Highway Safety Committee for one-year terms. All
served on the
committee in the last term. That group still has two open seats, and because not enough applications came in, prospective members have until April 23 to indi- cate interest in serving. The council reappointed
Jim Webb to the Zoning Board of Adjustment and promoted Earnest Osborne from an alternate to a full member. The appointments are for three years. Two alternate seats are open. The council also unani-
mously re-appointed Tom Hosey to a five-year term on
Housing and Redevelopment. That group has a vacant position as well.
Frank Santiago and Elaine Connors were named to the three-year seats on the Heritage Commission. Mar- ion Richardson Pounder and Don Kirkland will be the alternates. Only one position was
filled on the Conservation Commission. Margaret Ives, who most recently served as chair, was unanimously re- appointed.
One full member and one alternate position remain open.
Benson reminded the public that the council had received several late applica- tions and if anyone submit- ted late, they should resend their applications.
The remaining positions will be open until April 23.
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