With two candidates applying for one vacancy, board members of the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC) voted to increase board membership and recommended both candidates be appointed.
Newest board member and current selectman Susan L. Moran abstained from voting.
“I’d hate to lose either one. It would be highly disadvantageous to the town and the board to pass up on such highly qualified individuals coming before us, when we could have double the talent and experience,” Ms. Moran said.
Appointments to the EDIC must be approved by selectmen.
Former selectman and EDIC board member Kevin E. Murphy and Jay Zavala, president of the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce, were both interviewed for the seat at the July 8 meeting.
Mr. Zavala, who is retiring from his chamber post next month, listed his civic engagement, work ethic and professional experience as reasons to select him, but he also took aim at the group and tasked them with uniting around a new plan.
“Aside from the plan that created two tech parks, the EDIC has not written a formal plan and has been acting like a redevelopment authority instead of an economic agency with mandatory requirements. It needs to formulate its objectives clearly, then pursue them,” he said.
Mr. Murphy, who sat on the board until very recently, said the EDIC made poor decisions in the past, but that the organization is now on the right track. “We worked on some good projects, and I would like to continue that momentum. I have institutional knowledge of the EDIC and the community as a whole,” he said.
Mr. Murphy expressed interest in continuing work on repurposing the town’s solid waste facility. “I’d like to see that project through fruition and be able to grow our funds,” he said.
The EDIC is working with a hired consultant to study the feasibility of installing a solar array at the town landfill and sell some of the harnessed energy back to the power grid.
The board discussed at length whether it has the authority to increase from seven to nine board members and questioned which set of bylaws are guiding their organization.
I think we have the authority, but we can forward the proposals to the board of selectmen for their review,” chairman Michael B. Galasso said.
“Perhaps with more members we can get questions answered and get administrative tasks complete,” he said.