Friday, April 21, 2000
ConsCom welcomes temporary members, interviews for administrator
Three former commissioners have stepped into the breach caused by two recent departures from the Carlisle Conservation Commission and the almost simultaneous resignation of conservation administrator Katrina Proctor. ConsCom veterans Steve Spang and Claire Wilcox volunteered to accept temporary appointment to the board, while Steve Hinton will sit in as a consultant during the vetting of candidates to replace Proctor. One of the board vacancies resulted from the resignation of Sylvia Willard on March 24 to clear the way for her to apply for the administrator's position when a legally required 30-day hiatus has expired. As for Proctor, she again agreed to come to the office two days a week to assist newly appointed conservation assistant Francine Amari-Faulkner, who has been approved to work 25 hours a week until July 1. Her status thereafter may be dependent on results of the nearly-completed reclassification study.
The commission devoted most of the regular April 13 meeting to interviews with three of the more promising administrator candidates - Linda Fasciani, part-time conservation agent from Townsend; Debra Connolly, manager with H2O Engineering Consultants, many of whose clients are involved in environmentally related projects; and Nicole Giroux, recent graduate from the forestry program at the University of New Hampshire. The commissioner's questions gave a pretty consistent picture of what they are looking for.
Each interview began with an inquiry as to what had attracted the candidate to the position and why she preferred it to her present occupation. Members followed this obligatory opening with a number of specific questions relating to the applicant's day-to-day activities and experiences in her present job. Of obvious interest was familiarity with laws and procedures set out in the Massachusetts Wetland Protection Act (WPA), knowledge which might ease her transition to the new position. Not surprisingly, the board's recent experiences with substantive violations of the WPA and/or town bylaws led to quizzing as to the candidate's comfort with confrontational situations and enforcement actions.
There was considerable curiosity about the content of courses the candidates had listed in their resumes, specifically those related to environmental science and/or biology, as well as what the applicant had done or was prepared to do to fill in knowledge gaps related to the job. Commissioners also explored specific issues of importance here in Carlisle, such as water quality, agricultural usage and management of public lands.
Clearly desiring to be up-front with the candidates, the board stressed that the 35-hour work week would call for considerable flexibility, and would require attendance at night meetings and some weekend site visits, while at the same time juggling a heavy load of paperwork and coordinating with other town and state regulatory bodies. The non-negotiable top salary is $30,000.
Four additional candidates will be interviewed over the next week, one on Thursday, April 20 and three on Monday, April 24. The board hopes to recommend a successful applicant following those interviews. The official appointment will be made by the selectmen.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito