WILMINGTON -- Appointed office terms for town boards and committees will be extended until April 3.
On Feb. 20, the Wilmington Selectboard decided it would extend those office terms because the board wanted to look at the attendance records of those who had been serving and were looking for re-appointment.
"I’m not asking for an attendance policy, but asking those who want re-appointing if they’re attending the meetings," Selectboard member Meg Streeter said. "We need to do something different to encourage a wider participation."
Streeter voiced concern over levels of participation as well as the possibility of changing meeting times to fit into a schedule when more people who work a full-time job would be able to attend.
Terms were supposed to expire on March 6.
Town Manager Scott Murphy told the Reformer that a variety of boards would be affected by the extension. All the candidates are incumbents and only two people opted out of returning.
One member of the Development Review Board and one member of the Planning Commission decided not to ask for re-appointment.
"I would like feedback from each chair," said Streeter. "What people are attending? Are those who want re-appointing attending?"
Selectboard member Susie Haughwout asked if it were possible to extend terms "to review policy."
Selectboard Chairman Tom Consolino said the board could pass a motion to do just that.
"To quote a famous sports player, ‘This is deja vu all over over,’" he said, adding that the board had discussed asking committees for attendance sheets before.
Streeter didn’t want to change any attendance policy, but suggested some committees should change meeting times. She said that while she had been working on the library board, meetings were held at 3 p.m., making it difficult for those who work a full-time, regular shift to attend.
"It discourages people from applying or running," said Streeter. "I strongly suggest that the board start meetings outside working hours."
Development Review Board Chairwoman Nicki Steel voiced concern over extending the terms for the DRB.
"We could be in the middle of a case," said Steel. "We are down to three members on Town Meeting day."
She said the DRB had been working around Town Meeting day, so its members would not be leaving a case or joining while a case was in the middle of being heard.
"I’m not sure there’s anything we can do to alleviate the situation," said Consolino.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or email@example.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.