CHESTER – Steph Landau was chosen by his peers on the board of selectmen to serve another term as chair. The nomination and vote came with the rest of the board’s thanks for all of the work that Landau puts into the job, most of it unseen by the average Chester resident.
The selectmen meeting on May 30 was the first the board has had since elections earlier in the month. Just one seat changed on the board as Joe Castricone beat out incumbent Mike Weider for a three year term.
While last year the board had difficulty making time to choose liaison roles, on Thursday they made sure to sort it all out before the end of the meeting.
Castricone nominated Landau to serve another term as chair. It was seconded by Jack Cannon and even “thirded” by Joseph Hagan. It was a unanimous vote with Landau abstaining.
Cannon remarked that it was the time and dedication that Landau put in outside the meeting that made him an ideal chair. “I greatly appreciate that effort that you put forth and in my opinion that effort comes with the chair,” said Cannon. Hagan remarked, “You’re truly the mayor of the town…You contribute an amazing amount of time and human capital to this.” Landau thanked the board for their support, but added that the chair was just one person in a board of five and in the future should anyone want the position he was amenable to them taking it on.
Hagan was chosen unanimously to serve again as vice chair. The liaison roles were chosen quickly and with no arguments. Several important roles were swapped among board members. Landau suggested that someone else take his liaisonship to recreation. He stated that he didn’t mind the job, but that some of his thoughts on playing field configuration at Wason Pond had caused some waves around town. Eventually Castricone volunteered to take on that role.
Cannon offered up his role on the fire department, stating that he’d like to take over the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) instead.
Cannon stated that he had always been interested in the land use boards but didn’t understand them as well as he should. He added that he’d work hard this year to mend some fences between the selectmen and ZBA that had been broken in the previous year. While Hagan was set to move to fire, Castricone stated that he’d like to take that one on. Hagan was amenable to taking planning board instead. A separate liaison role to the Capital Improvement Plan was struck and combined with the planning board role.
Selectman Rich LeBlanc stated that he’d like to help with the planning board to learn how that board functions, something Hagan was OK with.
LeBlanc will remain the head of maintenance. Castricone will handle finance, but Cannon offered his services in that role as well.
Landau will take on the highway department. Castricone will take over the school board, in the place of outgoing selectman Weider.
The rest of the liaisonships remain unchanged.