The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 31, 2000


ConsCom maps out approach to fill multiple vacancies

With the conservation commission already short one member, the unanticipated resignation of conservation administrator Katrina Proctor three weeks ago has had a snowballing effect on the membership of the board itself. Commissioner Sylvia Willard, who joined the board last summer, has indicated a strong interest in applying for the administrator's position. Since state ethics rules preclude a commission member from applying until 30 days following an official resignation from the board, Willard duly submitted her withdrawal as of March 24, at roughly the same time that she announced her resignation as advertising manager with the Mosquito.

The recruitment situation is complicated by the fact that the commission has already advertised the availability of the administrator's post in a number of newspapers with a closing date for applications of April 7. Commission chair Carolyn Kiely, a practicing attorney, has studied the ethics statute and court records and is of the opinion that Willard can submit a "notice of intent to apply" by the April 7 date, although she cannot actually offer her resume or application until the waiting period is up. In the meantime, the commission will interview other candidates, but make no decision until Willard becomes eligible for consideration.

There was a second option, a procedure that the board preferred, that would have allowed Willard to continue to serve on the understaffed commission until other applicants had been interviewed. At that point, if her resume were deemed stronger than those of the other aspirants, she could be appointed by vote of the Spring Town Meeting. However, when the matter was discussed with the selectmen at their March 28 meeting, that board recommended the first option.

In summarizing the choice with the Mosquito, Kiely made it clear that, as far as the commission was concerned, "All applicants will be evaluated on their academic qualifications and experience, and we will do what's in the best interests of the town of Carlisle."

ConsCom seeks help

Faced with vacancies both on its staff and on the board itself, the commission announced at its March 23 meeting that it is asking for the public's help in a recruitment effort. This is the commission's busiest season, the months when both individual and developer activities are at their peak. A full board is considered critical.

Although specialized knowledge is not a prerequisite for appointment to the board, commissioner John Lee indicated that professional training in civil engineering or environmental science would be highly appreciated. Equally valuable would be a person with a strong background in land use or landscape architecture. Familiarity with the town's land acquisition and management history would also be welcomed.

In addition to the search for a new conservation administrator, the board is presently screening candidates for the position of assistant administrator, which was approved prior to the announcement of Proctor's April 28 departure. The administrator told the commission she would be willing to come into the office two days a week to help train the new assistant and get crucial paper work out the door.

In a related matter, the board discussed the proposed job descriptions for both the administrator and assistant that had been received from the classification committee. Kiely offered corrections to the text, putting more emphasis on the decision-making responsibilities and the degree of interaction with the public. All board members agreed that the level of responsibility is commensurate with that of counterparts in the offices of the planning board and board of health. Commissioner Jo Rita Jordan volunteered to do an official rewrite for submission to the committee.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito