SAUGUS — The Board of Selectmen’s effort to fill a Board of Health vacancy continues two months after a discussion on filling the position became a meeting flash point.
During a selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, Town Manager Scott Crabtree said the town has a couple of applicants for the Board of Health position, but no contact information for the applicants.
Crabtree said he spent the last week and a half trying to reach out to the individuals to get their phone numbers, without much luck. He plans to send a letter to the addresses on the applications and ask the applicants to contact the selectmen.
“These applicants showed some interest in the position, but had some questions, I think, before diving in,” Crabtree said. “I’m not familiar with the parties but we’re looking to try to get to them as soon as possible but again they didn’t… leave contact information.”
Crabtree said one of the applicants left an email address but hasn’t returned the email for a couple of weeks.
During a discussion about the Board of Health position in February, Crabtree described himself as being in a “no-win” situation when it comes to appointing the next Board of Health member, saying he thinks there’s some politics involved in choosing someone, rather than actually choosing someone to make the board more efficient.
The politics he was referring to were matters related to WIN Waste Innovations.
At the time, Crabtree informed the Board of Selectmen that an applicant had a clear stance on WIN Waste Innovations, which motivated them to apply.
Selectman Jeff Cicolini said that the Board of Health does a lot more than handle matters related to WIN and thinks a candidate’s stance on the company shouldn’t affect whether they are chosen for the position.
“What should be a factor is their qualifications for public health and it will follow suit,” Cicolini said during the February meeting.
He added: “You can’t go with somebody that’s anti-this or somebody too far pro, I get that, but if you can find somebody ‘middle of the road’ that has an open mind and still has the qualifications to be an additional benefit to that board.”
Board Chairman Anthony Cogliano suggested that Crabtree give the names of the applicants to the selectmen and have them confirm the candidate they choose. Crabtree replied saying he is not supposed to do that.
“I would say if you want to articulate the position I’m in, it is a very conflicted position that I’m not able to perform a certain aspect of my duties because of the conflict,” Crabtree said.
Crabtree said he is looking for someone who will be in the best interest of the town, as the town is looking for someone with a medical background.
Crabtree plans to send out letters to the applicants this week so they can continue on with the search.