, Salem, MA

Local News

December 5, 2013

Cahill objects to mayor's picks

BEVERLY — Mayor Bill Scanlon has a month left in office, but the next mayor says it’s time for him to let up on the gas pedal.

Mayor-elect Mike Cahill said yesterday that he objects to Scanlon trying to make appointments to city boards in his final weeks in office.

Scanlon asked the City Council on Monday night to reappoint 10 members and appoint two new members to the Planning Board, Parks and Recreation Committee, Harbor Management Authority and Board of Health.

Cahill called on the council to hold off on those confirmations so that he can make the selections himself after he takes office on Jan. 6.

“We’ve reached the point where it’s time for this administration to wrap up its work and for the next administration to pick up,” Cahill said.

At least some city councilors feel the same way. Confirmation of mayoral appointments to volunteer boards is usually a routine matter, but on Monday, the council’s Public Service and Legal Affairs committees both delayed their votes on the proposed appointments.

“I think they’re all good people being pushed forward by the mayor,” said Councilor Jim Latter, who chairs the Public Service Committee. “We’re also at the point where we’re moving to a new administration. It’s very understandable that the new administration wants some input on who sits on these boards, as well.”

Scanlon, who did not run for re-election, said he submitted the appointments because he wants to make sure the boards have a full complement of members in the new year. His recommended appointments fill either resignations or terms that expire at the end of the year, he said.

“If you don’t keep boards and commissions fully staffed, you can have a dysfunctional board,” Scanlon said. “Hopefully, (the City Council) will deal with those. Otherwise, we could very well have a Planning Board or other boards that can’t function for lack of a quorum.”

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