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CITY COUNCIL

Nominations and Appointment Committee Report 07/19/21



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Nominations & Appointments Committee

        

Monday, July 19, 2021

Meeting Report

 

Attendance:  Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz (electronically) S. Marmarou

 

Others Attending:  S. Smith, A. LaMano, B. Rivera, BCTV (electronically)

 

The meeting was called to order at 4:00 pm by Mr. Marmarou.

  1. Interviews
  • Pamela Gockley – Appointment to the Shade Tree Commission

Mr. Marmarou commented that Ms. Gockley is his neighbor.  Mr. Marmarou questioned what Ms. Gockley believes is the main purpose of the Shade Tree Commission.  Ms. Gockley stated that she understands the Commission keeps inventory of the trees within the City and make certain they are healthy. 
 

Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz thanked Ms. Gockley for volunteering in her community.  She stated that the Shade Tree Commission is so important to the City because the City has an urban forest.  She questioned Ms. Gockley about what she can do to advocate in maintaining this status.  Ms. Gockley stated that the first thing she feels is necessary is to educate the public and specifically realtors on how important our City trees are.  She stated that she mentions this because just recently she witnessed a home that was sold and the first thing the new owners did was cut down the trees on their property that were 30 years old.  She stated that she was horrified as trees increase the value of our properties among so many more benefits they produce for the City.  She stated that this situation prompted her to get more involved.  She reached out to Mr. Kissinger, the City’s Arborist, to obtain as much information as she could.  Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz concurred with Ms. Gockley’s suggestion to make sure the public is better educated on the importance of having trees.  She stated that communication is key which should be provided in both English and Spanish as many new residents do not speak English. 
 

Mr. Marmarou stated that in his experience trees sometimes do things that are unfavorable.  He stated that years ago he had a large tree in the front of his property and he could not understand why he had lost water pressure in his home until the plumber determined that the roots of the tree had gotten into his waterline.  He stated that unfortunately he had to get the tree cut down.  He stated that he had tried several times to replant other trees in its place but none would take. 
 

Ms. Gockley stated that she would like to work collaboratively with other groups such as the Water Authority in disseminating information to the public that would make them more educated on the importance of trees in our communities.
 

Mr. Marmarou questioned if she would have any difficulty attending meetings to which she replied that she would not. 

Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz thanked Ms. Gockley again for her interest in serving on this Commission as she looks forward to her doing so.
 

The Nominations and Appointments Committee recommends the appointment of Pamela Gockley to the Shade Tree Commission.

  • Michael McDevitt – Appointment to the Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB)

Mr. Marmarou introduced himself and questioned Mr. McDevitt’s interest in serving on this Board.  Mr. McDevitt stated that he has worked in the City since 1979 and has grown quite familiar with it.  He stated that for the last eight years or so he is a resident and a business owner in the City.  He stated that he is familiar with the historic districts in the City. 
 

Mr. Marmarou questioned what Mr. McDevitt would like to see improve with the HARB.  Mr. McDevitt stated that he would like to get a feel of how the Board operates and what priorities they have so that he can determine what suggestions he would make in order to improve its function. 

Mr. Marmarou questioned if attendance at meeting would be problematic to which Mr. McDevitt replied that he would have no issues attending meetings. 
 

Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz stated that HARB has been a real asset to the City as well as a challenge to those that do not understand the guidelines set forth by HARB.  She questioned if Mr. McDevitt had any suggestions on engaging the public more about HARB and what is required when residing in a historic district of the City.  Mr. McDevitt is of the opinion that people will do whatever they want to do in the hopes of not getting caught and then if they do get caught, they will just deal with the consequences at that point in time.  Mr. McDevitt stated that he is unsure on how to effectively educate those residing in historic districts; however, he can say that anytime he has had work done on his own property, the contractors he has dealt with are quite versed in the dos and don’ts.  Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz explained Council’s role in decisions regarding HARB appeals to give Mr. McDevitt some idea of how Council renders those decisions.  Mr. McDevitt stated that he recognizes he will learn much about HARB processes once he is on the Board and he welcomes that. 
 

Mr. Marmarou questioned Mr. McDevitt’s opinion on realtors and how they should be providing potential homebuyers with information regarding the required guidelines and responsibilities of homeowners who reside in historic districts.  Mr. McDevitt stated that he is aware of some information that realtors provide to potential buyers which only really covers lead paint matters as that is obligatory for realtors to provide.  He suggests that the City work with realtors as he does not believe that realtors are required by law to include that information. 
 

Mr. Marmarou thanked Mr. McDevitt again for his interest in serving this Board and looks forward to his contribution as he considers he will be an asset to this Board.
 

The Nominations and Appointments Committee recommends the appointment of Michael McDevitt to the Historical Architectural Review Board.
 

There was some discussion regarding the third applicant to be interviewed that has not attended. 
 

Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz questioned that in moving forward would Nomination meetings still be held virtually.  Mr. Marmarou questioned if the option should be left up to the applicant being interviewed to which a negative response was given due to still being adequately socially distanced.  This would create more complications in orchestrating an appropriate venue space.  Councilors were agreeable and understood the explanation given.   

The meeting was adjourned at 4:31 pm.

   

                                                                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

Bea Rivera, Legislative Aide