By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — The Board of Selectmen and a small group of residents sparred over liaison appointments Monday night.
The selectmen approved the liaison appointments in a 2-1 vote. Selectmen Chairman Phil Crawford and Selectman Chris Barrett voted in favor of the liaison appointments. Selectman Tom Terranova voted no.
Terranova said he wanted to serve as the selectmen’s liaison to the town’s golf courses, Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC), Cable Access Advisory Committee and the Library Building Committee. He said he did not want to serve as the selectmen’s liaison to the Recreational Path Committee, North Suburban Planning Agency, Recycling Committee and MBTA Advisory Board.
According to the list of liaisons, Barrett was recommended to serve as the selectmen’s liaison to CFAC, the Cable Advisory Committee and the Library Building Committee, the later of which the Board of Selectmen appointed Barrett to before he was elected selectman. Crawford was recommended to serve as the selectmen’s golf course liaison.
Terranova said he believed his “talents would be better spent” if he served as the liaison to those three committees and the town’s golf courses. He claimed there is an “accounting issue” with the golf courses and said his CPA experience would help address the matter. He also said he was “very committed” to establishing CFAC when he was a selectman candidate and his first year on the board. He also said he wanted to help Lynnfield Media Studios become a non-profit organization.
“I think it’s only reasonable we make these changes,” Terranova argued.
Barrett said he was “comfortable” with the proposed list of liaisons. He said the Library Building Committee and CFAC are interconnected because they both entail capital projects the town is considering undertaking.
Terranova disagreed with Barrett because he said both committees involve “a lot of financial issues.”
“I think my MBA speaks to that,” said Barrett.
Crawford said he supported the liaison appointments because he had his liaisons for “several years.”
“I had these same liaisons when I was on the Finance Committee,” Crawford added.
A small group of residents, including Daventry Court resident Katy Shea, wanted to weigh-in on the proposed slate of liaison appointments. Crawford questioned why the residents wanted to weigh-in on the matter because the liaison appointments have “nothing to do with the public.”
“Liaisons are set by the chairman of the board,” Crawford added.
Shea accused Crawford and Barrett of trying to marginalize Terranova a second time after he was passed over as selectmen chairman in April. She said Terranova is a CPA and expressed concern “he has the least amount of financial responsibilities” for liaisons as he is entering his third year on the Board of Selectmen. She argued Terranova’s skill set would be an asset to the town’s golf courses and the committees associated with capital projects.
“If look at the future projects in Lynnfield; Mr. Terranova has no say in any of that,” said Shea.
Shea also said their needs to be more “parity” between the three selectmen.
“We can’t always have two selectmen getting the best positions,” said Shea. “All we want is parity between the three selectmen for the future and the betterment of the community.”
Canterbury Road resident Heather Keane accused Barrett and Crawford of being uncooperative.
Crawford said the list of liaison appointments was sent to Barrett and Terranova last Friday, and he had not heard any of Terranova’s concerns prior to the meeting. He also noted selectmen “don’t make any decisions” when they serve as liaisons to other committees in town.
“You only have power as a board and if you vote on it together,” said Crawford.
An anonymous woman in the audience said she believed Terranova should be appointed liaison to the three committees and golf courses he requested because he has been a selectman longer than Barrett. She said the selectmen’s behavior is a reason why townspeople have become disenchanted with local government.
When Barrett served as the School Committee’s chairman for his last year on that board, he said he compiled a list of liaison appointments for his fellow committee members. He said, “There was no disagreement” with the appointments he made. He said Shea’s claims Terranova will not have any input on the golf courses and three committees is “wrong.”
Barrett also asked Terranova if he reached out to Crawford about the liaison appointments before the meeting and inquired why he didn’t raise the issue beforehand.
Terranova said he was “never asked” about potential liaison appointments. While Terranova asked Town Administrator Jim Boudreau to share his questions about the proposed Al Merritt Media Center meeting room renting policy with Crawford and Barrett via email, Terranova said two selectmen “can’t communicate directly” about the liaison appointments.
“Isn’t the purpose of a selectmen’s meeting to have a public discussion,” Terranova questioned.