GROTON -- In a unanimous decision, selectmen in a joint meeting with the Groton-Dunstable Regional School Committee, presided over by the town moderator, voted to appoint Kristian Gentile as the town's alternate member of the Nashoba Valley Technical School Committee.

With current member Kevin McKenzie unable to attend meetings of the School Committee due to an ongoing illness, Gentile will likely sit in for him as an active member in upcoming meetings.

Gentile, the mother of two students attending the technical school, will attend her first School Committee meeting April 9.

In a separate decision, selectmen voted to re-appoint McKenzie as the town's regular representative on the School Committee for another three-year term.

Unable to attend the April 1 meeting, McKenzie's sentiments were read from a letter by Berta Erickson in which he said he regretted not being able to attend the meeting but thanked all those who have wished him well and that he expected to recover from his illness and eventually re-assume his duties.

"As far as I'm concerned, Kevin has served as an outstanding representative (on the School Committee)," said Erickson adding that McKenzie has been conscientious with Nashoba's budgeting and has actively supported fundraising efforts in town. "He deserves reappointment."

"Kevin has singlehandedly re-invigorated that position," said member Peter Cunningham. "The town has benefited greatly from him being in that position.


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Gentile was asked by Groton-Dunstable School Committee member Leslie Lathrop if she thought the amount spent by the town per pupil at each school was comparable.

Gentile said she was uncertain of the details but vowed that as a member of the Nashoba School Committee, she would represent the concerns of Groton.

Also Monday, selectmen voted to ratify the appointment of Edward Cataldo as the town's new full-time building commissioner and zoning-enforcement officer.

Cataldo was hired to augment an existing part-time position needed due largely to an increase in building activity in town, including such upcoming and ongoing projects as renovation of the Prescott and Tarbell Schools, the new Center Fire Station, as well as developments like Boynton Meadows and others.

At a previous meeting, town manager Mark Haddad told selectmen that an expected annual salary of about $70,000 for the new position could be offset with money collected from fees and from within the town's operating budget.

Haddad also noted that in 2012 there were 339 building permits pulled, a sign that the housing industry in Groton was improving.

Haddad said that Cataldo was chosen from among 15 applicants out of which four were interviewed, all strong contenders. Cataldo however, who served for 19 years in a similar capacity for the city of Leominster, was the "outstanding" candidate.

"I couldn't be happier to make this appointment tonight," Haddad told selectmen. "He's ready to hit the ground tomorrow."

Selectmen voted to ratify Cataldo's appointment.

Board members also:

Learned of the conclusion of a successful search for a replacement for Martha Campbell as Council on Aging director. Due to of health reasons, Campbell announced her retirement unexpectedly last month, well ahead of her official retirement date of June 30. A search committee was compiled together that included Haddad and members of the Council on Aging and interviews of possible candidates for Campbell's replacement conducted. Haddad reported to selectmen that a good candidate was found with experience in a New York-based senior center, but was not yet prepared to identify her at the meeting.

Decided to establish a subcommittee to revisit the town's bylaw covering unregistered vehicles. According to Haddad, the issue came up after his office was apprised of the proliferation of unregistered vehicles littering properties in the Lost Lake neighborhoods. He suggested the creation of a subcommittee made up of himself, the new building commissioner, Police Chief Donald Palma, Town Planner Michelle Collette, and Selectman Joshua Degen who would then submit their recommendations to the By-Law Review Committee for consideration. If changes to the bylaw were deemed needful (which could include other kinds of vehicles besides cars such as boats and trailers), suggested language could be prepared for consideration by residents at fall Town Meeting.