Lasky re-elected chair of city Planning Board

NASHUA – After five years of heading the Planning Board, Bette Lasky has survived a challenge to her position as chairwoman.

Whether she will be able to stay on the board after her term expires at the end of March remains up in the air.

During the board’s meeting Thursday night, Mike Lowe, Mayor Bernie Streeter’s representative on the board, nominated Steve Farkas for the chairmanship.

Lowe’s nomination failed for lack of a second, and the board then unanimously elected Lasky as chairwoman. Ken Dufour was elected vice chairman and Bill Slivinski was chosen as secretary. Both had held those positions previously.

Farkas did not attend the meeting. He was attending a funeral, according to Lowe.

Lowe said after the meeting that he nominated Farkas because “the meetings have been lasting too long’’ under Lasky’s leadership. The sessions commonly last until after midnight, though Thursday’s meeting was over at 9:30 p.m.

“It would be good to have someone different, someone who has a legal mind and someone who can answer the legal questions before we have to ask them,” Lowe said of Farkas, who is a lawyer.

Farkas asked Lowe to nominate him, Lowe said. Asked whether local politics played a role in the matter, Lowe said, “Not really.”

Lowe and Farkas supported Streeter in the November city election, when the mayor was re-elected to a second term. Lasky, a Democratic state representative, supported Alderman-at-Large Steve Bolton.

Lasky’s term on the board expires in March. Streeter has the option of reappointing her, and the Board of Aldermen confirms all appointments.

Streeter said Friday that he hadn’t decided whether to reappoint Lasky.

“As each person’s term comes up, I analyze whether to reappoint them, and I plan to sit down and meet with Bette before her term is up,’’ Streeter said. “I’ll ascertain her interest in the position, but as of right now I haven’t made any decision.”

As chairwoman, Lasky runs the board meetings and workshops, and spends a considerable amount of time sitting on planning committees that focus on master plans for everything from the downtown area to the city as a whole. The job is undeniably time-consuming, Dufour said.

Lasky has both the time and the energy for the task, she said.

“I still enjoy it,’’ she said after the vote Thursday. “If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be doing it.”