Select Board to Fill Vacancies on the Board of Health

Reading, MA — Select Board chair Mark Dockser called a brief meeting of the board on August 25 primarily, to “support the Board of Health (BoH)” by filling the seat on that board vacated by the resignation of chair Eleanor Shonkoff. There is also a vacancy for an associate member on the board. BoH Vice-Chair Kerry Dunnell shared that the board has only two full members and that both of these need to be present at a meeting for a quorum to exist. Dunnell continued, stating that the BoH has reduced its meeting schedule to once a week and that, starting in September, meetings will be held in the evenings, to accommodate the schedules of the members.

The meeting opened with Select Board member Carlo Bacci making an immediate motion to adjourn, citing the lack of public comment planned for the meeting. Once affirming that no votes were planned, the Board rejected the motion by a vote of 1-4.

The Volunteer Appointment Sub-Committee (VASC) will reach to recent applicants to the BoH to gauge interest in the open positions and report back to the full Select Board at its September 8 meeting.

The board also discussed placing the adoption of the Stretch Code in the November 2020 Town Meeting warrant. The Stretch Code is a building energy code created to encourage energy-efficient design and construction in new residential homes and commercial buildings of greater than 100,000 square feet. Adoption of the Stretch Code is a specific requirement of the “Green Communities” application process.

Joining “Green Communities” would allow Reading to apply for grants as well as seek to make the town more energy efficient. Subsequent Town Meeting in 2019 approved an instructional motion asking the Select Board to pursue membership in “Green Communities.” The board will discuss sponsoring this warrant article on September 8.

The Select Board scheduled office hours, beginning with Dockser being available via Zoom on September 4 from 9:00-10:00 am. The Select Board adjourned at 7:55 pm.

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