Seekonk Selectmen have two more openings to fill following the resignations of Gail Nunes and Dr. William Brown from the town's Board of Health.
The resignations also leave the board with just three members, Chairwoman Vikki Kinniburgh, and two recently appointed selectmen, Francis Cavaco and Bob McClintock.
Kinniburgh asked the selectmen to bypass the traditional interview process to hire at least one of three candidates for the opening immediately, so she would not be the only member who is not on the board of selectmen.
“I think it’s imperative that we can put someone on the board right away,” Kinniburgh said.
Selectmen Chairman Dave Parker said theyare not able to do that because they still must advertise all openings for two weeks prior to filling the positions. This by-law was changed at the recent Fall Town Meeting, but still requires a ruling by the attorney general, which it has not received.
“Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t,” said Parker on the proposed appointments.
David Saad of the group suggested the two selectmen resign tonight, which would put the board of health below the number of required members for a quorum, which would constitute an emergency under the town’s by-laws and allow the selectmen to bypass the advertisement requirement.
Dr. Brown said recently in a guest column to the Sun Chronicle that the “Brutish, bullying, uncivil, and unprofessional behaviors by one new member sully the reputation of the entire board,” and that his behavior caused him and Nunes to resign.
Kinniburgh has previously spoken to Patch about issues on the board of health and collaborated Dr. Brown’s statements, saying McClintock bullied and tried to intimidate other members of the board.
McClintock said he would be glad to address any legitimate complaints, but said much of what was said is “exaggerated.”
“The selectmen being on the board of health make it very hard to work. It’s going to affect how the health and safety of this town is maintained,” said Kinniburgh. “It’s going to keep the board of health from functioning.”
The next Board of Health meeting is next Wednesday, and as of now the only members would be Kinniburgh, McClintock and Cavaco.