SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 10, 2013

Mayor proposes 61 board and committee appointments

By Bethany Bray
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — The City Council will consider 61 appointments to Salem boards and committees this week.

Mayor Kim Driscoll has sent 59 reappointments to the council for approval, plus two new appointments — Danielle Ledoux for the Board of Health and Dale Yale for the Planning Board.

The 59 reappointments are existing board members whose terms have expired.

Councilor Paul Prevey had pointed out that a majority of city boards and committees were operating with members whose terms have expired.

Prevey, the Ward 6 councilor, said it’s a practice that has been going on for years, under multiple mayors.

According to the city’s website, just two boards — the Bike Path Committee and the Parks and Recreation Commission — have no members with expired terms.

The City Council will consider Driscoll’s suggested appointments and reappointments at tomorrow’s meeting.

In a letter to councilors this week, Driscoll noted a city ordinance asks board members to continue to serve after their term expires until they are reappointed or replaced.

“Because board and commission terms vary and expire at irregular intervals, it can be challenging to keep up with reappointments on a timely basis,” Driscoll wrote. “Nevertheless, we are committed to ensuring the effectiveness of our boards, commissions and task forces, and certainly wish to maintain public confidence in these volunteers’ service.”

Driscoll said she instructed her staff several weeks ago to begin contacting the board or committee members with expired terms to ask if they’d like to be reappointed.

The 59 reappointments are for 17 city committees, from the Council on Aging and Licensing Board to the Historical Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals.

If approved by the City Council, Ledoux would replace Larissa Lucas on the Board of Health, and Yale would fill the remainder of Lewis Beilman’s term on the Planning Board.

Ledoux lives on Island Avenue and works as a pediatric ophthalmologist at Children’s Hospital Boston. Yale, a Mayflower Lane resident, previously worked as a planner for the city of Salem and runs her own zoning and land use consulting business.

Prevey told The Salem News last week that he plans to introduce a city ordinance that would require board members to be reappointed or replaced within a certain time period — possibly 90 days — once their terms expire. The issue has been sent to the City Council’s Subcommittee on Ordinances, Licenses and Legal Affairs for discussion.

Bethany Bray can be reached at bbray@salemnews.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.