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Affordable Housing Committee is too popular

PUTNEY—While some area towns are having a hard time filling vacancies on boards and committees, Putney is having the opposite problem.

So many people want to join the Affordable Housing Committee, the Selectboard recently had to turn away a hopeful appointee.

“We tend to get pretty darn good turnout for these meetings,” noted Selectboard Vice-Chair Josh Laughlin.

At the Jan, 27 meeting, Town Manager Cynthia Stoddard told Selectboard members she had received an email from resident Kellyn McCullough expressing her interest in joining the Affordable Housing Committee.

If the board appointed McCullough, it would bring the committee to 12 members; the original intention was to have seven or nine members.

Stoddard cautioned against maintaining a committee’s membership at an even number, and told board members they either needed to limit it to eleven, or “jump to 13."

As far as she knew, Stoddard said, all members wish to remain on the committee. She, and the Selectboard members, agreed 13 members would be too unwieldy.

“The question is now, do we have room for” McCullough, Stoddard asked.

“We certainly don’t want to discourage” anybody, especially someone with “a new voice,” board Clerk R. Scott Henry said.

The board agreed that, while they would not honor McCullough’s request to join the Affordable Housing Committee at this time, they encouraged her to attend the meetings, which are open to the public.

“I want her to feel welcome,” Stoddard said.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #344 (Wednesday, February 17, 2016). This story appeared on page C1.

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