By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
SHREWSBURY – The Board of Selectmen reviewed a list of eight residents April 27 who submitted letters for consideration to be appointed as at-large members of the Community Preservation Committee.
The appointments are contingent upon the passage of Article 29 at Shrewsbury’s Annual Town Meeting on Saturday, May 22.
The formation of this committee is a requirement of the town’s adoption of the Community Preservation Act at the November 2020 general election.
Chair of the Board of Selectman Beth Casavant stated that the approach her board took was similar to the one used to fill out Shrewsbury’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. Letters were accepted, and votes were administered by the Town Manager’s office.
“Each Board member was given a spreadsheet with the people that applied and presented us with letters of interest, and we were able to vote for our four choices,” she said.
The eight candidates were Debra Mooney, Deepa Moses, Jason Molina, Melanie Magee, Melissa Hollenback, Rajesh Velagapudi, Whitney Andrews and Laura Spangenberg.
Member terms were staggered into three-year, two-year and one-year terms. The Board selected Mooney and Velagapudi for the three-year terms, followed by Magee for the two-year term. There was a tie for the one-year term between Molina and Spangenberg.
Selectman Maurice DePalo supported Molina because he was the public face of the Community Preservation Act campaign, “given all his efforts and his knowledge.”
Selectman John Samia agreed with DePalo. However, Selectmen John Lebeaux and James Kane supported Spangenberg.
Casavant was the tie-breaking vote. Citing Molina’s experience, she ultimately chose him for the one-year term. The remaining appointees were unanimously approved by the Board.
Town meeting will be the final vote on these selections when it deliberates this article later this month.
The at-large members will join other Board and Commission representatives appointed to also take seats on the CPC as representatives of their respective arms of town government. Those are Martha Gach from the Conservation Commission, Steven Boulay from the Planning Board, Jim LeMay from the Parks & Cemetery Commission and Kathleen McSweeney from the Housing Authority.