By Chris Maza
WILBRAHAM – The Board of Selectmen recently appointed Diane Weston to fill a vacant seat on the Council on Aging, beating out Josephine Carabello, who also interviewed for the position.
A resident of Wilbraham for several years, Weston explained during her interview that her sole motivation was the fact that there was an opportunity to help the community and being a registered health and wellness nurse with the city of Chicopee, she felt she had the expertise to be of help.
Carabello who grew up in Wilbraham, left and returned to town in her retirement from the Department of Justice this past year, told the board she was a volunteer at the senior center in her previous town of residence and commented that she felt the town was in need of an updated facility. She also said she had spoken to several members of the senior community in order to gauge what they felt were outstanding needs.
Board of Selectmen Chair James Thompson said that while both were “outstanding candidates,” in his mind, Weston’s professional experience merited her selection.
“Diane Weston’s background really makes me lean in her direction,” he said. “She’s a wellness nurse at the Chicopee Council on Aging and so she sees a program that is definitely bigger than what we have here in Wilbraham and she may have some ideas that would fit well with our seniors here in Wilbraham.”
Selectman Robert Russell concurred, adding, “from the standpoint of additional programming, she has been very prepared.”
Selectman Robert Boilard also agreed and said her experience could also provide new ideas and concepts for the possible new senior center, for which a feasibility committee was recently established and funds have already been raised.
“She could be a definite asset to that group,” he said.
As an seven-member advisory group to the Board of Selectmen, the Council on Aging’s charge is to identify the needs of the town’s elderly population and advocate for those, by developing programs and service practices. The Council on Aging also helps senior members of the community take advantage of state and federal funding and programs.