Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Status of the Boards and Commissions

Recently, a new member, Jeremy Stynes, was appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission, which has been one member short since November 2020, after the resignation of Phillip Schwartz. At the beginning of 2020, the Zoning Board of Appeals had two vacancies as a result of the terms of Steve Dunn and Theresa Joyner both ending. Dunn was not reappointed; Joyner was appointed instead to the Planning Board. In March 2021, Ryan Wallace was appointed to fill one of the vacancies on the board, but he resigned earlier this week after being appointed by the Common Council to replace Calvin Lewis as Third Ward alderman. Once again, there are two vacancies on the ZBA.

Vacancies on other boards seem to be filled more quickly. Only a month after the resignation of Betsy Gramkow from the Planning Board, Eugene Shetsky was appointed to fill the resulting vacancy. Similarly, the Tourism Board seems always to have its full complement of members. Since the current Tourism Board was formed at the beginning of 2020, three members have resigned: Sidney Long, Filiz Soyak, and Tamar Adler. They have been replaced by Ivy Dane, Nabila Akhter, and Nea McKinney. Now, as a consequence of Lewis's resignation from the Council, the Tourism Board is without a chair. (Back when there were standing committees, Lewis was chair of the Tourism Board by virtue of being the chair of the Economic Development Committee.) At the Council's informal meeting on Monday, Alderman Dominic Merante (Fifth Ward) asked who would now chair the Tourism Board. Council president Tom DePietro indicated that he would be the chair.

The Tourism Board meets tonight at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.


  1. Interesting to see the continued authoritarian style accretion of power under a single official who brings no managerial or legal experience to the game, who seems to operate solely on the basis of ideology (that being "more power for me") and has absolutely no policy chops to speak of. Indeed, in his tenure as CC president, Tom has precious little to show for his "leadership" except fewer and fewer people in responsible positions, and chaos where there once was order (parking policy anyone?).