Saturday, February 16, 2008

Martynick seat also at issue

Martynick seat also at issue


By G.E. Lawrence, Special to The Phoenix

PHOENIXVILLE — The complications continue in the saga begun Tuesday evening with Council’s appointment of former Council President John Messina to the Planning Commission.

It is now possible that Council may consider rescinding two appointments: not only that of Messina to the seat now held by Michael Hott, but also that of of George Martynick, a reappointment made in January. Hott’s and Martynick’s terms both expire in March.

In response to stiff opposition to Council’s Tuesday decision, including from Hott and paralegal Michelle Beaver, who both had submitted formal applications for the position, former Council President Messina suggested Thursday that Council return to its original plan to interview all candidates before reaching a final decision.

But on Friday Messina was clear that interviews should be held with four or more candidates, not three, for both Hott’s and Martynick’s seats. “That’s the only really fair way to do this, since there are more candidates than seats, and both seats are up at the same time,” he said.

“As far as I’m concerned, over the last month Council made two good appointments to the Planning Commission,” said Richard Mark Kirkner (D-North), who had pushed for a vote on Messina’s appointment Tuesday.

But Jeff Senley (R-North) was among the vocal critics of the Messina decision, for which he was absent. He wrote to colleagues to “express a high level of dissatisfaction with Council’s decision [on Messina] …with no regard for planned due diligence.”

Council had, Senley said, “succeeded in alienating and disenfranchising Mike Hott, Michelle Beaver, a number of seated Planning Commission members, and the voters who voted in this last election for ‘Open Government.’”

Senley, on whose motion Martynick was reappointed in January, said that he believed Martynick “would be amenable” to a new arrangement for interviews.

Indeed Martynick was, with a caveat. “I’m not certain what Council can [legally] do, what is legitimate to do, having made the appointments,” he said. In regard to his own case, he asked: “How do you turn around a unanimous decision?”

Martynick recognized that Council could be put in the awkward position of formally requesting two resignations to move the issue forward, but should Council do so “I would welcome the interview,” he said.

Asked about these new wrinkles, Mike Handwerk (D-Middle) said, “I was about to make a motion [to discuss both positions again] at the next Council meeting [on January 25]. If we interview for one we should interview for the other.

“Why should George Martynick get a free pass and no one else, since both terms come up at the same time?” Handwerk asked Friday.;jsessionid=nHR9H24TxGxHhS12sF52gnb6Z6YZMpwXtNXNDCK9mH6b14Nt5QG7!2130610164?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pg_article&r21.pgpath=%2FPVN%2FHome&r21.content=%2FPVN%2FHome%2FTopStoryList_Story_1595488

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So Messina opines that something seems "the only really fair way to do this" therefore Council must automatically rush to do it as Messina wants it done?

Can we hope the borough solicitor have enough backbone to publicly advise Council on the legality of what they can or can't do regarding appointments? What kind of future volunteers would want to subject themselves to such process and uncertainty to serve on a borough board or commission?