HARVARD — Selectmen after some discussion appointed longtime former School Committee member Keith Cheveralls to fill a vacant seat on the Capital Planning and Investment Committee and Steve Gorton to the Bare Hill Pond Watershed Management Committee.
Gordon’s appointment, in particular, raised some concerns, since he also serves on the Park and Recreation Commission and aims to continue doing so.
Given that Park and Rec and the Pond Committee might not always see eye to eye, as evidenced by recent rowing club issues related to town beach use and that his son is on the rowing team, Selectman Leo Blair questioned whether Gordon could be objective if a conflict arises.
Gordon said he’d signed a disclosure statement so his parallel courses were no secret but in any case he plans to “do what’s best for the town.”
Explaining why he wants the Pond Committee seat, Gordon said he participated in fish studies for the drawdown and has been intrigued by the committee’s work ever since.
Asked what he’d do if the town’s interests collided with those of Park & Rec or the rowing club, Gordon said he would stay out of it. “I’d excuse myself,” he said.
Given the recent upheaval on Park & Rec, with two resignations and only three members left, Selectman Ron Ricci said the last thing he’d want to see is a “dysfunctional” group. However, he had discussed the issue with Gorton privately and now felt confident he’d do a good job for both groups, Ricci said.
Gordon told him he planned to tour the pond with the harbormaster soon as part of a project to replace all the boat moorings, Ricci added.
“It sounds like you’re well qualified,” Chairman Stu Sklar said.
The board voted three to one to appoint Gorton. Blair voted no.
The board’s vote for Cheveralls was also split three to one, with Wallace voting no.
Given that he previously served on the CPIC as a School Committee representative and that his wife is a teacher at Hildreth Elementary School, Wallace said she was concerned about possible bias.
Ricci, however, said he had no such doubts, positing that Cheveralls could and would be objective in representing the town’s interests.