Last nights joint meeting between the Select Board and RMLD Board of Commissioners kicked off with 4 applicants making their case to be appointed to the vacant seat left by John Stempeck. Each of the candidates had a couple minutes to give their pitch on why they should be appointed and they went in alphabetical order by last name.
Philip Courcy of White Oaks Lane was up first. Philip explained that he was an electrical engineer and spent his entire career in the electric utility industry. He worked for General Electric, New England Power and National Grid. He holds degrees from Norteastern University and the Wentworth Institute of Technology. He also explained that he was a US Navy Veteran and was on the gas and light board in Wakefield before moving to Reading.
Pam Daskalakis of Lilah Lane was up next. Pam explained she is a 10 year resident and is currently in her 3rd term as a Town Meeting Member. She specializes in procurement and operating costs management. She holds a degree from Syracuse University in Economics and Public Policy and MBA from New York University. She concluded with mentioning her run for the light board back in 2022 and earning over 1800 votes. During her campaign, she heard voters concerns with transitioning to clean energy in a cost effective way.
Ray Porter of Franklin Street spoke next. Ray is an air quality professional with over 30 years experience. He is a 20 year resident and spent the last 10 years as a member of the Climate Advisory Committee. While serving on the committee, one of the comments on a recent survey noted they wish people of authority would incorporate the technology they recommend. In doing so, he converted the 1730’s Nichols House he lives in to a ground source heat pump system and solo thermal hot water system.
Last up was David Zeek of Sandborn Street. David has a masters degree in electrical engineering and business administration. Due to his numerous years in engineering management, he feels like he can jump into the RMLD pool and swim. He has not only tracked what RMLD has been doing for years but the laws and regulations that apply to them and comparisons to other municipal light plants. He hopes to broaden the business model that RMLD has and can invest in the future due to climate change and increased demand.
After the 4 candidates spoke, the Select Board and RMLD commissioners briefly asked questions of the candidates. Carlo Bacci asked if all 4 candidates would plan on running again in April. Pam, Philip and Ray replied they would while David Zeek noted he would only commit if he was making a difference.
It was also clarified that this appointment would only last until the April 2024 election. In the end, voting took place as follows:
- Pam Daskalakis 5 votes – Philip Pacino, David Talbot, Marlena Bita, Jackie McCarthy and Mark Dockser
- Philip Courcy 2 votes – Robert Coulter & Carlo Bacci
- David Zeek 1 vote – Karen Herrick
- Abstained – Christopher Haley abstained voting for any candidate due to the applicants not being posted to the town or RMLD’s website and the precedent over the past 2 years of discussing one meeting and voting the following. The information has subsequently been posted.
With the majority vote being for Pam Daskalakis, she was appointed to the RMLD Board of Commissioners with a term expiring April 2, 2024. She has little time to catch her breath though as her first meeting will be this Thursday at 7:30PM. The full meeting can be seen below on RCTV.