Friday, November 7, 2003
ConsCom welcomes new commissioners Troppoli and Schultz
It looks as if the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) may have a welcome opportunity to put more emphasis on environmental education in the months ahead. Following an enthusiastic endorsement from ConsCom, the Board of Selectmen this week appointed two new members to the commission to fill vacancies left by the resignation of Jonathan Beakley and the relocation of Christine Kavalauskas to Littleton. Both appointees, Diane Troppoli of Westford Street and Tom Schultz of Carleton Road, bring strong academic backgrounds in biology and environmental science plus experience in teaching, to the Clark Room table.
Academic background, work experience
Following completion of her BS in Biology from UMass Dartmouth in 1992, Troppoli worked as a Teacher/Naturalist at Massachusetts Audubon Society's Drumlin Farm, while studying for her MS in Environmental Education at Lesley College. Between the years 1997 and 2001, she did double duty as Education Coordinator and Assistant Director of Audubon's Wildwood residential camp in Gardner, and Sales and Customer Service Specialist with Recreational Equipment, Inc. More recently she has served the same firm as Special Events Coordinator.
As for Schultz, after graduation with a double major in Biology and Geology from the University of Rochester, he performed independent research at Duke University in primary productivity of algae in the marine ecosystem. Though he soon moved into a career in the computer industry as a Senior Technology Staff member with IBM, he kept active in the environmental sphere, mentoring students in regional science talent competitions in the Philadelphia area and remaining active in the Philadelphia Academy of Science.
In her original interview before the commission, Troppoli cited a family tradition of community service in Canton, Massachusetts that led her to seek an opportunity to contribute to her new hometown and to take an active role in protecting the pastoral environment that had attracted her and her husband Steve in the first place. As she noted in her application, "I moved to Carlisle for the forests, the salamanders and birdsand I want to be an advocate for those forests, salamanders and birds, so I know they will be here for my children to enjoy."
Asked by Chairman Tricia Smith what had brought him to apply, Schultz in turn indicated concern about preserving the "unique place that is CarlisleI have great concern about where we'll be five years from now; that's the driver," he explained. Commissioner John Lee inquired whether the applicant had ever worked with state regulations of any sort, and Schultz replied that although he was not versed in the Wetland Protection Act, he had dealt with the Pennsylvania equivalent of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. He also indicated his intention of taking advantage of the workshops offered by the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions and the state, noting that since his family consisted of himself and his wife, Shelley Reeves, his time was "unusually flexible."
When they first were interviewed in early October, both candidates were asked about their comfort level in dealing with conflict resolution. Schultz said he had had to make tough decisions in the past and observed that "above all, enforcement must be seen as fair and evenhanded." Troppoli recalled that part of her graduate program had focused on conflict resolution and being able to appreciate different points of view, "skills that should be useful when making difficult decisions and upholding environmental law."
Neither Schultz nor Troppoli were totally new to ConsCom procedures, for both of them had sat in the back of the room as observers at several previous meetings. Hence, by the time the commission came to an actual vote on October 23, the candidates had listened through a string of recent, stormy hearings dealing with violations of the Wetland Protection Act and other environmental law. Before the actual vote was taken, Commissioner Lee asked with some obvious trepidation if the applicants were still desirous of joining the effort. Both replies were positive, and a unanimous endorsement was voted.
The sentiments of the sitting commissioners had already been expressed with characteristic enthusiasm by Commissioner Roy Watson following their original interviews — "We're ecstatic that we have two such qualified candidates."
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