The five-person Pierson Town Council is currently one person short after the untimely death of longtime Town Council Member James Peterson in May. Now, the Town Council is seeking individuals to finish out Peterson’s term, which ends in 2022.
At the Pierson Town Council meeting June 8, Mayor Samuel G.S. Bennett opened the floor for members of the Town Council to suggest possible appointees to the open seat. Elected in 2018, Peterson’s seat will be up for grabs in the November 2022 election.
Bennett suggested Planning Board Member Paul Martel and retired Pierson public-works employeeLambert James “Jimmy” Anderson for the open seat.
“I think either one of these gentlemen would be good,” Bennett said. “I’d like to put both of their names out there.”
Anderson ran against Peterson for his seat in 2018, narrowly losing by just 3 percent of the vote to the longtime Town Council member.
Members of the Town Council puzzled over one wrinkle, though. Both Anderson’s son-in-law and daughter are employees of the town. As such, his voting power would be restricted in times when the results could be perceived as nepotism.
If appointed, Town Attorney Christian Waugh said, Anderson would not be able to vote on matters that directly affect family members financially, such as raises for town employees.
No one other than the mayor had any suggestions for the seat, but the Town Council hesitated to make a decision between the two men.
“I know Paul [Martel] comes to all the meetings, so he’s in tune with what’s going on; and I know Jimmy’s [Anderson] in tune with what’s going on. I think either one of them would fill the position fine,” Vice Mayor Robert F. Greenlund said. “It would have been a whole lot easier if just one of them was interested.”
When Bennett asked if anyone else had any nominations to share, the Town Council’s newest member — and only woman — Sergia Cardenas asked, “Any women? Any woman to join me?”
Cardenas chuckled, and was met with silence.
With no additional suggestions and the Town Council unable to decide between the two suggested appointees, member Tom Larrivee made a motion to table the decision until the Town Council’s next meeting, Tuesday, June 22. The Town Council unanimously agreed.
Barring any future tabling, the Pierson Town Council will decide who will fill the vacant seat at the next Town Council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 22, at Pierson Town Hall, 106 N. Center St.
All Pierson Town Council meetings are open to the public.