By David Fassler
Hudson – Welcoming the members of the School Committee present, Board of Selectmen Chair James Vereault called the June 6 selectmen meeting to order and went about the business of filling a seat left vacant by Selectman Chris Yates's election to the board; Yates had previously been a School Committee member.
“It was a close race and one [candidate] came out with more votes,” School Committee member Susan Dunnell said. Given the recent elections for School Committee members, Dunnell said it is important to follow the will of the voters and to fill the vacant seat with the candidate with the next highest number of votes.
“I think it's important to appoint this person,” she said
She then moved for Lorraine Nelson to be appointed as the new committee member.
Michael DiBono, a candidate on the ballot from the last election said he was in a statistical tie with Nelson in the election, and expressed his continued interest in the seat.
“I don's have any roots here, other than living here,” he said. “I don's have any kids and my only interest is coming out and helping a community.”
Also nominated for the vacant seat was retiring Hudson High School Principal John Stapelfeld, who was seconded by Selectman Joseph Durant.
Following a roll call vote of the School Committee and Board of Selectmen, Durant moved that Nelson be unanimously approved as the new School Committee member, followed by Vereault welcoming her to the committee.
“I want to thank [the candidates] for showing up,” Yates said. “I would encourage you to stay involved. You all have assets that would benefit other boards in town.”
In other business, the selectmen discussed a proposal to appoint Peter Pistorino a part-time member of the JFK School Building Committee.
“I look at this and say, “Wow, that's a lot of money”,” Vereault said, “but conversely, he can save us a lot of money.”
Pistorino's experience has been praised by members of the School Committee in past meetings. He has also been described as a necessary piece in the JFK school project, who has saved the town a significant amount of money.
Pistorino's proposed appointment would terminate Dec. 31 and was unlikely to be renewed, Executive Assistant Paul Blazar said. “Through today he's demonstrably saved us one million dollars,” Blazar said. “Those savings weren's documented by him; they were documented by the project manager.”
The selectmen agreed in approving the appointment at a rate equal to $87 per hour, with Selectman Charles McGourty in opposition.
Other action taken by the board included the appointment of summer employees and contractors for the Park Commission and the Department of Public Works; the approval of a 1.5 percent pay increase for non-union city employees, with Vereault in opposition; and the appointment of Ailton Mulin as a part-time communication dispatcher for the Police Department.
The board passed over designating members of the Hudson Zoning Board of Appeals as special municipal employees, with Vereault referring to unintended consequences and not the people involved.
The selectmen also tabled until their Monday, June 20 meeting the reappointment of Blazar as executive assistant, pending an updated disclosure of his participation on area boards of directors.
Selectman Santino Parente did not attend the meeting.