Originally posted Monday at 4:28 p.m. Updated Tuesday morning for Source newsletter.
FRAMINGHAM – Last Tuesday, December 12 was the deadline to apply for a position on the new City of Framingham Board of License Commissioners.
On Thursday, Framingham Source requested the number of applicants and the names of each applicant. Source was denied that request on Thursday, and again on Friday.
The new Licensing Commission will have 5 members, all to be appointed by Mayor-Elect Yvonne Spicer.
Formally, the Framingham Board of Selectmen oversaw all licenses for the Town of Framingham, including alcohol.
Also under the Town form of government, when Selectmen made appointments to boards, committees, and commissions, the names of all of the appliants were made public; thus why Source requested the names of the applicants for the new City of Framingham Licensing Commission.
However, the mayor-elect has chosen to keep the names private, as applicants are being interviewed by a screening committee; similiar to how employment searches are conducted.
In comparison, if the Framingham Public Schools is conducting a principal search, its human resouces department will at least release the number of applicants immediately and then release names of finalists after a screening committee. Source was denied a request for the number of applicants for licensing commission.
However, the Mayor is not legally required to release the names, unlike a Board of Selectmen or a City Council.
At least some of the applicants for licensing commissioner were called on Friday to set up interviews for this Thursday. These positions are all volunteer and not paid.
Members of the screening committee include Health Director Sam Wong, a lieutenant on the Framingham Police department, the current licensing adminsitrator, a member of the human resources department, and Town Counsel.
Individuals wishing to be appointed a Commissioner, must be residents of Framingham and registered voters.
Framingham Town Manager Bob Halpin told Source in Friday the applicants will go through a background and a CORI check.
Halpin did acknowledge that the process to apply for licensing commissioner was different than the process to apply for boards and commission through the Framingham Board of Selectmen.
Applicants were asked to go through Human Resources and fill out an application, which requested confidential information, like individuals who would apply for employment. Again, the licensing commission positions are unpaid.
No person while a member of the Board of License Commissioners shall have any financial interest, direct or indirect, in the sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages in any form within the City of Framingham, per the Charter.
In accordance with the Home Rule Charter, Article III: Executive Branch, Section 3a, “All appointments and promotions made by the mayor shall be made on the basis of merit and fitness demonstrated by examination, past performance, or by other evidence of competence and suitability. Each person appointment to fill an office or position shall be a person especially fitted by education, training and previous experience to perform the duties of the office or positon for which chosen.”
“Several individuals with impressive backgrounds have submitted applications, both online and in person to be considered for the Commissioners positions available in the newly- formed Board of Licensing under the Framingham Charter. We have narrowed down the pool of candidates and I look forward to sharing the names of the Board of License Commissioners with the City Council-Elect and the community upon completion of the process,” said Spicer, in a press release.
It is unclear at this time, if Spicer will submit to the 11-member City Council a list of all the applicants, when she submits her five names to be appointed, or if the names of all the applicants, will always be kept private.
Under the Charter, the City Council can vote to reject a choice by the Mayor for the Commission.
It is also unclear at this time, if the mayor-elect plans to use this same process of not releasing applicants names for other boards and commissioners, like Zoning Board, Board of Health, Planning Board, etc., as she goes through the process of making her more than 150 appointments.
The Framingham City Charter, which passed by about 100 votes, approved a strong mayor position for the City of Framingham.