Last week Mayor Trish Spencer was tasked with making nominations for a bunch of Boards and Commissions. On the Transportation Commission front she did not re-nominate long time awesome Commissioner Eric Schatmeier which is a huge loss for the Transportation Commission, but she also didn’t nominate your favorite Transportation Engineer Eugenie Thomson. Instead she picked someone else entirely who works for a company that does something around toll booths. Not the most inspired choice from a well rounded all modes of transportation perspective, but then again, not Eugenie Thomson either.
As predicted for the Planning Board she also didn’t reappoint Mike Henneberry either who has not been reticent about being publicly critical of Trish Spencer. She appointed a person who works, apparently, in some sort of finance. Not the most inspired choice. Here is one of the biggest problems though with representation on the Planning Board though that the latest appointment does nothing to address. Currently there are no West End residents on the Planning Board even though a significant amount of the major projects that will be under review are west Grand and west of Webster.
Right now, there’s only one Board Member that lives west of Grand, none that live west of Webster Street. There were several options on that list of West End residents — off the top of my head I can count four without having to google anyone — including Karen Bey who would also have brought much needed racial diversity to the Board as well as knowledge about development in general. There were, however, some mayoral sycophants in that West End list that would have been problematic from an appointment standpoint since the both of them have come out to City Council meetings to talk about how great Trish Spencer is and how everything else is terrible.
But, there were two solid West End options that could have brought a West End perspective from a Board that is dominated by East End and Bay Farm members. It’s disappointing, but not surprising, that the West End gets shortchanged when it comes to fair recognition in this City.