Council fills vacancies
The Town Council last week struggled over too many qualified candidates vying for openings on town boards. Sometimes, there are not enough volunteers for all vacancies, but having too many is not a unique situation.
Last week, it was again a case of current members with expiring terms wanting to continue versus new candidates eager to serve. Ever since changes to town’s home-rule charter three years ago limited appointees to two consecutive terms at a time, the councilors have tended to give preference to reappointments.
That is what happened in the case of the Beavertail State Park Advisory Committee. Linda Warner requested reappointment and Guy Archambault wrote to ask for a first-time appointment. One vacancy existed.
With one member absent, the council split 2-2 vote. Councilman William Kelly nominated Archambault, saying “new blood” might be helpful. “They both are good candidates. It’s a good dilemma.”
Councilor Barbara Szepatowski joined in his selection, “but without comment. It is not a reflection on Linda,” she emphasized.
Council Vice President Julio DiGiando said Warner has done a good job and should be given another term. Councilman Michael Schnack said he was “for continuity, but I do not want to deter applicants.” After the tie vote, Kelly conceded rather than have a stand-off or postponement of the vote and the decision for 40 for Warner.
Next, the council tackled the matter of three vacancies, with four candidates, for the Library Board of Trustees.
Incumbents Daniel Donahue, Delia Klingbeil and Lisa Tyre each asked for reappointment and Katherine Wineberg requested a first term.
The council started with the newcomer. Szepatowksi observed that she has established a good reputation for fund-raising for the library. Schnack noted her service as president of the Friends of the Library. She was shoed-in 4-0.
Next, Tyre was nominated “for her obvious good work.” Szepatowski recused herself from the vote. With no other comment, the vote was 3-0 for Tyre.
Next Schnack nominated Klingbeil and the vote was unanimous for her.
That left Donahue out. “He’s a good worker,” more than one councilor noted.
“I hope he continues working for the library,” a third said. “I’m sure he will. Maybe with the friends,” another suggested.
Earlier, the council agreed to reappoint Ernest Anthony Jr. to the Jamestown Housing Authority. There were no other candidates.
They also voted to reappoint David Nickerson to the post of town tree warden. Nickerson has led the town to three consecutive Tree City titles and has pledged to get a fourth Tree City award in the next annual competition.