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New Planner Appointments Going Before Council
Tammy Daniels,
11:08PM / Tuesday, February 01, 2011

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The mayor will be submitting a eight nominations for various boards to the City Council next week, including two for the Planning Board.

Joanne DeRose and Brian Miksic are being recommended to fill the seats of the late Edna Rudnick and David Babcock, who is retiring after more than two decades on the board. Miksic is president of Develop North Adams, a nonprofit organization created to bring merchants, educators and the community together to enhance the city. DeRose is active in Democratic politics and works for National Grid.

They are the first additions the mayor has made to the nine-member board since taking office last year.

But there has been a bit of mixup: DeRose took her seat on Jan. 11. That caused a couple councilors to check the rules and notify the mayor they hadn't signed off on her nomination.

"I have a matrix [for nominations] that didn't indicate I needed the council's approval," said Mayor Richard Alcombright on Monday.

The city charter doesn't say the council has approval over planning appointments but state law does. Once a community reaches a population of 10,000, it must establish a planning board and "such members shall in cities be appointed by the mayor, subject to confirmation by the city council," according to Chapter 41, Section 81A.

DeRose, who will complete Rudnick's unexpired term, voted to continue a permit hearing at her first meeting. That vote won't count but won't change the outcome; DeRose was not required for a quorum and the vote was unanimous with eight other planners in attendance.

"I'll meet the [Feb.] 8th with City Council, that's before the Planning Board meets on the 14th so it will be OK," said the mayor.

The appointments will begin to shape the new mayor's policies toward development and planning. The other planners have served for several or more terms; Wayne Wilkinson was the latest to be appointed, in December 2009, by the former administration but was a veteran of the board who'd been off a few years. Alcombright, who had just been elected, had voted as a city councilor to approve his nomination.

 

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