Mayor seeks to replace finance board member

0
10

NaugyTownHall2NAUGATUCK — Mayor Robert Mezzo is scheduled to recommend Tuesday to the Board of Mayor and Burgesses that finance board member Matthew Katra be replaced.

Katra and two other finance board members — Andrew Bottinick and Aldo Pistarelli — have been serving on the board although their terms expired June 1. Mezzo, a Democrat, will recommend Bottinick and Pistarelli be reappointed, according to a draft agenda sent out Friday. Katra, Bottinick and Pistarelli are all Republicans.

Mezzo wants alternate Kimberly Kiernan, also a Republican whose term expired in June, to replace Katra on the board.

The finance board is made up 10 members, including the mayor, who serves by default.

Katra sent a letter in May to the borough board asking to be reappointed. He said late last month he would like to continue serving.

Kiernan missed the chance to move up from an alternate to a regular board member in January, when the board appointed Bottinick to serve out the term of Republican Don Carten, who resigned. Although the vote was unanimous for Bottinick, some burgesses said they would like to see Kiernan move up, increasing the presence of women on the board.

Mezzo said Friday he had not discussed the change with Katra.

“I’d just like to go in a different direction and give Ms. Kiernan the opportunity to serve,” Mezzo said.

On his blog last month, Mezzo called Katra “hyperpartisan” and claimed Katra had cited inaccurate facts in a speech he made nominating Republican candidate James O’Sullivan for mayor.

In his four years on the finance board, Katra has made himself known as one of the more outspoken and conservative members. He has drawn both praise and blame for proposing spending cuts sometimes criticized as unrealistic or impossible.

In his letter to the borough board, Katra claimed he had missed only a handful of meetings in four years and that he had met with numerous employees to further his knowledge of different municipal departments.

The borough board is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the appointments. The board could reject Mezzo’s recommendations or propose different candidates for appointment.

Mezzo said he was not sure how often a member of a board or commission in the borough, with an interest in continuing to serve, is not reappointed. Four years ago, Mezzo decided to drop Bottinick from the police commission in favor of a retired state trooper. Police commission appointments are made by the mayor alone.

If Kiernan takes Katra’s place, the borough board will have to appoint someone as an alternate member to fill Kiernan’s former slot. That vacancy would be addressed at a later date, Mezzo said.