Let voters decide BPW meeting time

Board of Public Works commissioners are elected at-large by the voters of Nashua. The commissioners receive a stipend and a travel allowance. These expenses are paid for with taxpayer dollars.

The commissioners work for the voters of Nashua. It is appropriate for the voters to decide the meeting time for the board.

Board meetings always were held in the evening. Mayor Donnalee Lozeau changed the meeting time from evening to daytime.

The evening meetings allow for greater public attendance and input. Also, the daytime meetings limit the pool of residents who are able to run for the board.

In the past, the board met two times per month. Eight years ago, that policy changed to one meeting per month.

Division of Public Works superintendents always were expected to attend evening meetings. The superintendents are salaried employees who do not collect overtime.

Most superintendents earn a six-figure salary once benefits are included in the compensation package. It is not unreasonable to ask a person who earns a generous salary to attend one evening meeting per month. The only employee who would receive overtime is the administrative assistant, who records the meetings.

It is regrettable that a charter change is necessary in order to change the meeting times to the evening. Since my fellow commissioners refused to change the meeting time, the charter change is the only mechanism to force the change.

The residents of Nashua deserve a more open and transparent Board of Public Works.

Tracy Pappas

Commissioner

Board of Public Works

Nashua