And having members with expired terms making weighty decisions — such as with planning, zoning or other areas — could open the city up to legal trouble as well, Prevey said.
“We certainly wouldn’t want someone to file a legal challenge to a decision made by a board with members with expired terms,” he said. “We want to make sure that never even comes up as a question.”
Prevey said he plans to involve the city’s attorney in drafting the ordinance.
Prevey said he’s been thinking about this issue over the past year, but “sharpened” his focus after recent City Council discussions about the size of Salem’s Board of Health.
Reappointments to the Board of Health have been on hold because the board is seeking to decrease its size. Currently a seven-member board, the Board of Health is down to three members because of vacancies and resignations.
The City Council voted March 28 to ask Driscoll to make appointments so the Board of Health can reach its required quorum of four. After the council’s vote, an aide in Driscoll’s office told the Salem News the mayor plans to make appointments to the Board of Health soon, in order to get the board to a functioning level.
Bethany Bray can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.