The City Council won’t lack for choices when it comes to finding a replacement for former Councilor-At-Large Roy Avellaneda, who resigned from his position earlier this fall.
Monday night, the council agreed to hold a subcommittee on conference meeting in the next several weeks to consider the 14 applications the council has received to fill Avellaneda’s seat for the remainder of his term.
“We can go over the applications and sit down and talk about the procedure – how would we go forward in addressing how we would like to do this as a body to get the finalists for the at-large position,” said Council President Calvin Brown.
Brown said the council might decide whether it wants to go through an interview process with all or some of the candidates, or if it wants to go with a nomination process. The new councilor will be voted on by all 10 current council members.
Also Monday night, it looks like the third time should be the charm for the City Council’s hiring of a new administrative assistant.
The council unanimously approved Jessica Carmenatty for the position.
“We haven’t had the best of luck, the last two young folks we hired both had declined the position,” said Councilor-At-Large Damali Vidot. “Luckily, we had someone come in through a temporary agency and actually she fit in well, so we decided to offer her this position.”
Vidot said Carmenatty is a Chelsea resident.
In other business, Vidot requested the council hold a subcommittee on conference with the public works and police departments to discuss public safety and cleanliness in the city’s parks.
Vidot noted that the issues were discussed by the council earlier this year.
“We were talking about how we needed to keep an eye on some of these parks,” said Vidot. “But over the summer, we had issues where the soccer field was not being rented out to the leagues because there was some damage with the field, yet adults were still using the field illegally and there were tons of issues we were having with people were drinking there, and there was a whole machete fight one night.”
Over the summer, Vidot said some public works employees were threatened for trying to go into the park and clean it up.
“So we have a huge issue here, and this isn’t just a DPW issue, this is a public safety issue, this is an everything issue,” said Vidot.
She said there needs to be a discussion in the city about how to best address the issues in the parks regarding both maintenance and safety.
“I think this is an opportunity to talk to the DPW and have them tell us what are the problem parks and, if there are people in the community who are willing to help out, can we offer them trash bags, rakes, and gloves so they can help out. Because clearly, the capacity and the manpower we have is not sufficient to take care of the parks.”