WOBURN - North Woburn Alderman Edward Tedesco recently yanked a proposal to change to the City Council's operating protocols by imposing new committee reporting deadlines.
During the council's last meeting of 2019, the Ward 6 Alderman without explanation asked to withdraw his order without prejudice. His colleagues, without comment or debate, consented to the request in a unanimous vote.
Under the proposed change to the council's "Rule 22", each council committee, after being referred a petition for further scrutiny, would be required to send back a report to the full council within four weeks.
Presently, it is not uncommon for council subgroups — especially the Special Permits and Ordinance Committees — to spend months reviewing proposed developments or zoning legislation. Tedesco's proposal acknowledged that some reviews might require longer than four weeks, but stipulated that if debate needs to continue, the committee should submit a formal request for additional time.
The order also called for an end to the practice of referring petitions back to the full council "for action" without an attached recommendation.
Tedesco at the recent meeting offered no explanation as to why he had proposed the rule change. He was similarly mum as to the reasons for withdrawing the order.
However, during the same gathering, the council referred to its Ordinance Committee an order from Ward 5 Alderman Darlene Mercer-Bruen that calls for a more exhaustive review of the City Council's entire volume of Rules and Orders.
Presumably, that more involved analysis will include discussion about committee-level deliberations and approval protocols, which leaves open the possibility that Tedesco's concerns will be addressed at a future date.
The City Council at the recent meeting also adopted a report from the Personnel Committee that recommends the appointment of local resident Anthony Langone to the Traffic Commission.
Langone's likely final appointment to the 9-member government body will fill a seat that has been left vacant since at least last summer.
Last July, Tedesco tried to appoint local resident Joanne Daggett to the post, but Ordinance Committee Chair Joanne Campbell ultimately nixed that request due to procedural concerns — she stressed her objections had nothing to do with the candidate's abilities and qualifications.
Specifically, Campbell pointed out that under the council's rules, the opening should have been advertised to the general public. Two months later, that advertisement was placed in local newspapers.
Daggett, who was appointed to the commission on a temporary basis, indicated she was no longer interested in serving on the board as a permanent representative, according to meeting minutes recorded last summer.