Public Service Committee 11-18-20
November 18, 2020
Chairman Leahy called the meeting to order at 6:02pm
Leahy: clarified that councilor Murphy is standing in for another member. Described to candidates the process for interviews this evening, and then the full council at the next meeting.
Councilor Murphy: motion to take up Licensing Board appointment of Michael Moriarty, Seconded by Chairman Leahy. All vote in favor.
Chairman Leahy: familiar with you and your work in Holyoke, advocate for public schools. Can you explain Republican Commissioner on the Licensing Board?
Moriarty: Expressed surprise to learn there are party designations on this board. Described function of board, familiarity with it while serving clients. Been out of law practice for 7 years, no reasonable conflicts left. Boards meets a couple months a year, except for March.
Chairman Leahy: understood it to be a quarterly thing, except for March. Questions?
Councilor Murphy: thank you for your work in the community. You have no clients that would create conflicts?
Moriarty: may be one individual in town who holds license, would recognize them and recuse.
Councilor Murphy: what would you look for in license approval?
Moriarty: make clear assurances that they understand obligation of public safety. They should be mindful of laws and respectful of neighbors. Recognizes that many license holders are small business owners, many have struggled past months during pandemic.
Councilor Leahy: echo Murphy’s sentiments, you are good for the community. Would support you for any board. Motion to confirm, seconded by Councilor Murphy. All vote in favor.
Councilor Murphy: motion to take up Harry Montalvo as appointee to the Historical Commission, councilor Leahy seconded. All vote I favor.
Councilor Leahy: asked admin assistant if Harry is on.
Admin Allen: Harry emailed and said he would be in meeting, just tried to call.
Councilor Murphy: motion to move to next item, seconded by Councilor Leahy. All vote in favor.
Councilor Leahy: taking up Gurninder Dhaliwal as appointee to Holyoke Planning Board. Well known in Holyoke, good businessman. Give us background, and we’ll ask questions.
Dhaliwal: Gave brief history of background: moved to states in 1989. New York, dishwasher, lost everything in 9/11, struggles, then got into pizza business. Moved to Holyoke in 2002. Started Dino’s in 2007. Own two properties in Holyoke, one business, one home. Described that many departments in Holyoke not on same page. Said city has given him a lot, when offered position, decided it was time to do some community work.
Councilors Greaney and Lebron-Martinez at 6:15
Councilor Leahy: described how when Covid-19 hit, Mr. Dhaliwal served a lot of people in the community and donated a lot of food, including Holyoke Soldiers Home.
Councilor Murphy: thank you for investing in Holyoke. Appreciate time invested in community. You understand doing business in Holyoke.
Councilor Leahy acknowledged Councilors Greaney and Lebron-Martinez arriving.
Councilor Leahy: motion to approve appointment, seconded by Councilor Murphy. All vote in favor.
Councilor Lebron-Martinez: thanked him for his service to the community.
Councilor Leahy: nomination will go before full city council.
Councilor Leahy: motion to take up Daphne Board to serve on the Holyoke Redevelopment Authority, all voted in favor.
Councilor Leahy: tell us about yourself and interest in this board.
Board: moved to Holyoke in 2003. 2011 Mayor Pluta appointed to her to Citizens Participation Committee of Redevelopment Authority. Excited when this appointment was presented by mayor.
Councilor Murphy: thank you for stepping up. Expect you have a good idea of the projects.
Board: somewhat familiar of HRA projects.
Councilor Murphy: talked about goals for HRA in the next couple years. Appreciate letter to mayor, clear you wanted to be involved.
Councilor Leahy: Everyone speaks highly of you. Do you have questions?
Councilor Leahy: motion to approve, all voted in favor.
Councilor Lebron-Martinez: offered congratulations, mentioned she is stepping down from this board after 8 years. Thanked Daphne for stepping up.
Councilor Leahy: this will come up in first council meeting of December.
Councilor Leahy: motion to take up appointment of Rosa Pantoja to the Holyoke Economic Development and Industrial Corporation. She was not in attendance. Rosanna Lopez clarified she is a different appointee.
Councilor Murphy: motion to move to the next person.
Councilor Leahy: asked Rosanna Lopez to clarify her name. Asked admin assistant if she is on agenda.
Lopez: clarified that appointment is for Commissioner for the Planning Board.
Councilor Leahy: asked for her name and address, thanked her for volunteering. Clarified that admin would look for information.
Lopez: Sit on boards and involved in volunteer work in the community. Presented with opportunity, wanted to represent people in community who looks like her.
Councilor Murphy: thanked her for volunteering. Described that many items will come up, some may be controversial. Expressed confidence in work.
Councilor Lebron-Martinez: knows Rossana, been involved in many ways, including with teen mons through the Care Center.
Councilor Murphy: motion to approve appointment, seconded by Councilor Lebron-Martinez. All voted in favor. Do you have questions?
Lopez: no questions.
Councilor Leahy: laid out plan for next council meeting. You’ll get sworn in virtually. If you have questions, give us a call.
Chair Leahy: motion to take up appointment of Dr. John Perdrizet as a member of the Conservation Commission. Seconded by Councilor Murphy.
Admin: stated that he had not heard from Perdrizet or from Luis Salazar, but that Harry Montalvo had just arrived.
Chair Leahy : made motion to return to Montalvo’s appointment to serve as member of Historical Commission. Described what the committee is and who is in attendance.
Montalvo: stated that he is active in community, with Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, and already a member of Planning Board until next June. Stated he sees opportunity to join this commission as a way to learn more about historic parts of Holyoke. Also would like to put in effort to maintain what we have.
Chair Leahy: Clarified that he is already member of the Planning Board until June.
Councilor Murphy: thanked for service, and for volunteering for this commission. When we preserve, we need aggressive plan right up front. Example is Armory, we waited so long that there are significant financial issues. We have to pick out which makes most financial sense along with historical significance.
Montalvo: stated he has already participated in meetings. Understood that HMC wants to tear down 4 properties. Believed that with the right effort, we can keep at least 2.
Councilor Murphy: stated he believes we should see what can be saved, and be realistic. Appreciated advocacy to save what we can.
Chair Leahy: any other questions?
Councilor Lebron-Martinez: thanked for volunteering for commission. Expressed knowing Montalvo for many years.
Councilor Greaney: thanked Montalvo for volunteering. Pointed out that Holyoke has a rich history, with traditional and nontraditional parts, used examples as first industrial planned community and water power.
Councilor Murphy: made motion to approve, seconded by Chair Leahy. All vote in favor.
Chair Leahy: Made motion to take up Helene Busby appointment as a commissioner of Parks and Recreation, seconded by Councilor Murphy. All vote in favor.
Chair Leahy: Admin emailed her. She emailed stating she had a prior work engagement. Called today, had conversation today for half hour. Very interested, been going to meetings already. When she moved here, parks were aa big draw Cares a lot about young children. See no problem putting her forward.
Councilor Murphy: stated he was impressed with her resume, her thought process, ideas for providing more shade is great. Ideas for expanding other things already done, coordinate, new ideas instead of just status quo. Recommended appointment.
Chair Leahy: questions?
Councilor Murphy: made motion to confirm, seconded by Councilor Lebron-Martinez. All in favor.
Chair Leahy: asked Admin if there was anyone else in attendance.
Councilor Murphy: asked about Richard Purcell or John Perdrizet.
Admin: confirmed not hearing back from them.
Councilor Lebron-Martinez: asked what Purcell was being appointed to.
Councilor Murphy: clarified that he was being appointed to Soldier’s Memorial.
Chair Leahy: thanked Councilors Lebron-Martinez, Greaney, and Murphy for attending.
Motion to adjourn made by Councilor Murphy, seconded by Councilor Lebron-Martinez. All vote in favor.
Meeting adjourned at 6:42pm