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Greenfield council to review appointment procedures

GREENFIELD — Town Council will begin discussing and possibly making a few changes to the way it reviews mayoral appointments to town boards, committees and commissions, according to President Mark Wisnewski.

“We want to make sure the council has a fair way of evaluating appointments,” said Wisnewski. “We want our standards for voting or denying an appointment to be clear, and we want to make sure we do our due diligence by getting all of the information we need before we take a vote on someone.”

Town Council cannot make an appointment. It can only approve or deny one of the mayor’s.

Wisnewski said some of the suggestions he will propose to the full council, probably later this month, will be to have the council’s Appointments and Ordinances Committee ask for “pertinent information” about all proposed appointees, as well as others who asked to be appointees but were not chosen by the mayor, before the full council takes a vote.

Typically, the only person the council sees when someone is being appointed to a town board, committee or commission is the one the mayor has decided is best for the position.

Wisnewski said he hopes the council will automatically receive records concerning all candidates who showed interest.The council either votes to accept the mayor’s choice, or denies it with nine of 13 votes.

The council voted to deny the mayor’s reappointment of Thomas DeHoyos to the Conservation Commission in June, but last month, the mayor resubmitted DeHoyos’ name.

The second time he submitted DeHoyos as an appointment, not a reappointment, and the council didn’t have the nine votes to keep him off that time. Eight councilors voted “no,” three voted “yes,” one abstained, which acts as a “yes” vote, and one was ill and did not attend the meeting.

Vice President Hillary Hoffman, who was ill and did not vote in August, voted “no” to DeHoyos’ reappointment in June.

Mayor William Martin and the council also were at odds over appointments this summer when he withdrew two Planning Board nominations before councilors got to vote on their confirmation, which angered councilors who supported the two men as alternates on the Planning Board, and argued the mayor could not withdraw a nomination once extended.

Wisnewski said he would also like to see what type of training, education and experience mayoral appointees and reappointees have had either while or before serving.He said he would also like to see the council automatically request that mayoral appointees and reappointees attend an Appointments and Ordinances Committee meeting so that the committee can make a recommendation to the full council on each candidate.

“I would think anyone who wants to commit to one or two monthly meetings would be fine with coming before the committee one night,” said Wisnewski. “We couldn’t force an applicant to show up.”

Wisnewski said he’d like to try amending the council’s rules of procedure first, but wouldn’t be against looking at creating an ordinance in the future if needed.

“We all want to make sure we’re getting the best candidates for each position on each board,” he said.

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