GROTON -- A short-handed Parks Commission seeking to bring itself back up to full strength held interviews with candidates interested in filling out the unexpired term of former member Steve Hall.
According to commission Chairman John Strauss, Hall was forced to relinquish his three-year-term due to illness. Hall was elected to the commission in 2012 and would have concluded his term in 2014.
Putting the word out, three candidates emerged including local equestrienne Geanine Haberlin and lacrosse enthusiast Tim Madigan.
Also throwing his hat in the ring was former Parks Commissioner Jeffrey Ohringer, who had served 18 years with the group.
But with Ohringer only having offered himself for membership when it seemed no one else was interested, actual competition for the open seat was likely to be between Haberlin and Madigan. Both applicants seemed to impress commissioners who interviewed them on July 11.
Haberlin, who ran a late innings write-in campaign to join the commission during the last election cycle, said that as a member of the commission, she hoped to fill a void by representing mothers with young children involved with sporting activities in town.
Currently a member of the town's Community Preservation Committee, Haberlin is also a past member of the Hazel Grove Planning Committee and is a trained herbalist.
"I think she's extremely competent and able to solve problems over a wide range of issues," said Strauss. "I think she'd make a great addition to the commission."
Strauss also had good things to say about Madigan with whom he was impressed as well.
"I think lacrosse lacks an official voice on the Parks Commission," said Strauss of Madigan's eight-year involvement with the sport. "Lacrosse is the second most popular sport in town so it would not be inappropriate to have someone who's familiar with it on parks."
A certified public accountant, Madigan said he is familiar with playing field construction and if appointed to the commission, would like to concentrate on developing more field space in town.
The candidates are to move on to a joint meeting between the Board of Selectmen and Parks Commission scheduled for July 15, where voting will choose one to serve until town elections in the spring.
Haberlin was later appointed.