The Select Board will be meeting tonight at 7pm in the Select Board meeting room at Town Hall. The board will be introduced to the new Director of Equity & Social Justice, Albert Pless. Albert W. Pless, Jr., is an Adjunct Professor at the Tufts School of Medicine Online MPH program and a guest lecturer at the Tufts School of Community Health. He has over 25 years of experience working in community-based programs in the Greater Boston area. Previously, he was the Inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Town of Andover, Massachusetts.
Next will be an Introduction to Christopher Cole, the new DPW Director. Chris took over for Jane Kinsella who announced her retirement earlier this year. Chris was previously the Assistant Director of Public Works here in Reading.
Following the new staff members introductions, the board will Vote on March/April 2024 Election Timing. At the last board meeting, Town Clerk Laura Gemme updated the board on the options for the upcoming State Primary in March and the Local Election in April. Combining the elections to a single day in March, historically results in higher voter turn out and a costs savings of roughly $10,000 between DPW and Police. Laura also explained the other option is to keep them separate, which makes things easier from a staffing perspective.
The final items all relate to Town Manager, Fidel Maltez’s departure on December 31st. The board will hear another presentation from Community Paradigm Associates on the Town Manager Search as they were the same consultant that was used during the previous process in 2021. The board will also discuss which members of the board itself will serve on that committee as well as others in town. Chair Jackie McCarthy had floated the idea during the boards last meeting to have the Town Moderator, a member of the Finance Committee, a member from the School Committee, Police Chief Dave Clark, and 1-2 community members. Vice-Chair Mark Docker voiced that he would like to serve on the committee as well and liked the makeup of the previous committee which had Fire Chief Greg Burns and Amy Lannon the Director of the Reading Public Library.
The complete agenda is listed below.
- 7:00 Overview of Meeting
- 7:05 Public Comment
- 7:15 SB Liaison & Town Manager Reports
- 7:30 Introduction of new Director of Equity
- 7:45 Introduction to Chris Cole, DPW Director
- 8:00 Vote on March/April 2024 Election Timing
- 8:20 Presentation from Community Paradigm Associates on Town Manager Search
- 8:45 Vote Make-up of Town Manager Screening Committee and Appointment of Select Board members to Screening Committee
- 9:00 Discuss Appointment of Acting Town Manager
- 9:15 Discuss Future Agendas
- 9:30 Approve Meeting Minutes
- 9:45 EXECUTIVE SESSION – Vote to Approve Collective Bargaining Agreements (International Association of Firefighters AFL-CIO)
The 7PM meeting will take place in the Select Board meeting room at Town Hall. The public can attend in person or watch via several options: via a broadcast on RCTV’s YouTube channel at this link or on the RCTV Government Channel (Xfinity ch 22, Verizon ch 33). The Zoom link for this meeting is: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89684346252