Board vote may end Teeboom's panel of 1

NASHUA – For the past year, Alderman-at-Large Fred Teeboom has been keeping abreast of twists and turns in the progress of the Broad Street Parkway and briefing his board’s infrastructure committee.

On Tuesday, the Board of Aldermen formally created the one-member committee position that Teeboom had been holding, but changed the proposal on how the committee is appointed.

That change may mean that Teeboom will be out of the job.

By an 8-7 vote, the board amended an ordinance by transferring the power to appoint the one-person committee to the board president. The proposed ordinance had given that responsibility to the infrastructure committee.

With the change, the board in a split-vote then approved the ordinance, which also assigned responsibility for oversight of roads to the infrastructure committee.

Teeboom opposed the amendment.

Because the liaison reports to the infrastructure committee, the committee has a strong incentive to make sure it appoints the right person for the job, Teeboom argued.

He also said the board president in the past has politicized appointments, a practice he said predated the tenure of the current president, Alderman-at-Large Steven Bolton.

Bolton and Teeboom have had differences in the past. In January 2008, for example, Teeboom criticized the committee assignment Bolton handed out to aldermen, complaining that he was denied his top choices.

However, Alderman-at-Large Brian McCarthy said it made sense to have the board president appoint the liaison position.

Currently, there are nine one-member committee positions, in essence liaison jobs, and the board president appoints each.

“I just don’t see any reason to do it any differently,” McCarthy said.

As the liaison, Teeboom said he kept up on developments concerning the cross-city roadway with the city administration and the Nashua Regional Planning Commission. The city this past fall approved a $37.6 million bond to pay for the road, and construction is expected to begin in 2010 or 2011.

Teeboom said whoever is appointed to the liaison position should be able to devote ample time to be the infrastructure committee’s “eyes and ears” concerning the project.