Sylva’s town board filled two open seats on the planning board at its Jan. 9 meeting.
Ben Guiney’s November election to the town board opened up one seat, creating a need for someone to finish his term, which runs through Feb. 28, 2022. The term of Joe Bill Matthews expired at the end of December and he did not seek another term. Terms on the board are three years.
Four town residents applied for the seats.
“I was very impressed with some of these resumes,” board member Greg McPherson said.
“I was going to say that,” board member David Nestler said. “All of them are great.”
McPherson made a motion to appoint Guiney’s wife, Melissa Madrona, to finish his term.
In a 4-0 vote, with Guiney recusing himself, the board passed a motion in favor of the appointment.
On Madrona’s application she said her work as a pharmacist at the Cherokee Indian Hospital made her a good candidate.
“I regularly weigh risks and benefits in a detail-oriented manner to determine the best course of action in patients’ health care,” she wrote. “I deal with people from different social stations and levels of power to try to reach consensus; and I have to be a good listener to determine a patient’s perspective and try to shape their medication use to positively affect their health while also factoring in their priorities and lifestyle. These skills and abilities could be applicable to balancing the good of the town with the desires of individuals in town planning.”
She wants to increase her involvement in the community, to help balance social and environmental concerns in the future direction of the town, and learn more about the community, she wrote.
Alan Brown, a construction project manager with the firm Civil Design Concepts, takes the other open seat.
He was approved by a unanimous 5-0 vote, with Nestler making the motion.
Brown has two relevant undergraduate degrees, one in construction technology and one in industrial design and drafting, his application said.
“I have worked in the construction industry for the last 15 years in various forms, from pre-development all the way to post construction and including six years with the Department of Transportation,” he wrote. “A large portion of my work experience has been in site construction and site development. I am familiar with the language of development and planning in the construction world and understand the impacts that they have on the community at large.”
Brown wants to serve in order to shape the town’s future and manage community growth, he wrote.
Nestler said Brown’s experience might help with what he sees as a housing shortage in the town.
Geoffrey Hirsch and former planning board member Luther Jones also applied for the positions.
Hirsch served on the Henniker, New Hampshire planning board.
The planning board meets monthly at 5:30 p.m. the third Thursday at town hall. The next meeting is slated for 5:30 p.m. today (Thursday).
Planning board members must live within Sylva town limits.