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Selectman Conley named to Personnel Board … for now

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AYER — In an effort to staunch what town administrator Shaun Suhoski termed “chronic” quorum issues, Selectman Pauline Conley has temporarily been appointed to the Personnel Board.

The alternative was no activity by the Personnel Board through at least August, due to two members of the five-person board resigning earlier in the year and a third member going on vacation, explained Suhoski at the selectmen’s July 10 meeting.

Conley, who served on the board prior to becoming a selectman, volunteered to fill the position.

That suggestion was met coolly by selectmen Cornelius “Connie” Sullivan and Carolyn McCreary, who said other candidates were being spoken with.

“I would suggest we wait until the next meeting,” said McCreary.

Conley responded by saying there were two seats available and that both had been advertised for at least three weeks. She added the board’s quorum issues stretched back to when the selectmen declined to re-appoint her to that position.

“There’s a lot of work that has to be done that hasn’t been done for two years,” she said.

Board Chairman Gary Luca suggested Conley be appointed as a “stop gap,” with an understanding she would step aside if another qualified candidate came along.

That measure was approved 4-1, with Sullivan voting against.

The evening’s only other appointment saw Pat Walsh granted another term with the Community Preservation Committee.

The decision was deferred at the board’s previous meeting because newcomer Evan Torlin was also interested in the position. The board wanted to hear the CPC recommendation, which came back in favor of Walsh.

The appoint of Walsh was made unanimously.