| Dennis Hackett
SOUTHWICK – During its Oct. 13 meeting, the Southwick Select Board once again continued the tax classification hearing to its next meeting and interviewed three candidates for the Board of Water Commissioners.
After continuing the tax classification hearing at its Sept. 30 and Oct. 6 meetings, the board once again continued the hearing while it waits for more information from the Department of Revenue.
“The Board of Assessor have not heard back from the Department of Revenue in regard to this one particular issue on those utilities so it’s for the same purpose for those other continuances,” Southwick Chief Administrative Officer Karl Stinehart said.
The next order of business was a trio of interviews for the vacant Water Commissioner position in conjunction with the Board of Water Commissioners.
The first interviewee, Joel Faria said that he wanted to work in Southwick’s government after growing up in the town.
“It would be nice to get involved with the town a little more as I’ve done in the past growing up with sports so it would be interesting to move into a different direction with the government side of things,” he said.
The second candidate, David LaBombard said he had experience with the town’s water facilities after working for the Department of Public Works (DPW) for 19 years.
“I was Highway, but we worked hand in hand with the Water Department. We helped them with water breaks and anything else they needed help with so I’m very familiar with how they operate and what goes on there,” he said.
While he has plenty of experience working on water systems, the final candidate, John Cain, said that would not influence any decisions with the board.
“I’ve owned a company for five years. Before that I worked on water systems, ship work piping, reverse osmosis, all different types of piping systems including water quality and water testing. That’s one of the things I’ve tried to separate myself from what we do on the town government side of things from the construction side,” he said.
After interviewing each candidate, Board Clerk Russ Fox nominated Cain for the Water Commission vacancy.
“I think his resume is something that would be of tremendous benefit to the Water Commissioners and the town of Southwick. We’ve got some serious issues and the pandemic hasn’t helped things. I think he would be the right decision at the right time,” he said.
Water Commissioner Dave Meczywor agreed with Fox and said he was planning on nominating Cain before Fox made the motion.
“If I had to make my nomination I would have gone with John Cain as well so I’m glad that Russ took the bullet for me and nominated him. I think everybody is very qualified, I like all their resumes and all their backgrounds, but you can only pick one,” he said.
With little discussion, the rest of the Select Board agreed and approved John Cain to the Board of Water Commissioners.
During the meeting, the board also approved a motion to transfer $25,000 from the reserve fund to the Forestry line item as a result of the storm on Oct. 7.