The selection process for new members of the Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) appears to have stabilized following a boondoggle over nominations that spanned several public meetings in recent weeks.
The Planning Board and Select Board, the two boards that jointly appoint MPIC members, presented sometimes heated discussions at the August 11-25 Planning Board meetings and the August 23 Select Board meeting.
After extensively hammering out views, the two councils are now set to hold a joint meeting to publicly review all nominations and also seek a recommendation from MPIC.
They will also ask all applicants to use a newer version of the form and submit a one-page document that aligns their experience with the council’s work.
The dispute over the selection of new members comes as more and more people have applied to serve on certain boards.
The Select Board recently appointed a sub-committee to determine how openings are made public and how people are appointed to serve on boards and committees with the aim of creating a more equal, clear and transparent process.
Subcommittee members Roxanne Musto and Erin Bradley called for greater representation from various polling places, making the information available on the city’s website more up-to-date and ensuring the process is more public.
Bradley recently said he plans to present his recommendations to the policy committee of the select board and the full board, likely by January.
In June, the city assembly approved MPIC’s request to increase the number of members from five to seven for the last two years of the committee’s term.
MPIC was created to implement the provisions of the master plan which was approved in 2014 and will end after 10 years. They asked for more hands representing a greater diversity to do the job.
At the August 11 meeting, planning council chair Meredith Hall and member Maggie Oldfield presented a list of three new members for its members to vote on. This did not include the reappointment of Elaine Benson, whose appointment was made by both boards in January.
Their recommendations included the reappointment of the other three long-term members, including Planning Board member Cheryl Tougias and newly appointed Board Representative Musto.
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