FRAMINGHAM – Mayor Charlie Sisitsky has nominated 3 men to serve on the 7-member Veterans Council.
Nominated to serve through June 2025 is Framingham Police Lt. Robert Downing. Lt. Downing spearheaded the revitalization of Veterans Memorial Park, next to the district court house. He is an U.S. Army Veteran and lives in District 4.
Nominated to serve through June 2024 is Korean War Veteran Nicholas Paganella. Paganella, is the oldest elected leader in the City of Framingham. He was on the Veterans Council when he was elected to become a Cemetery Trustee in November of 2021, but due to the Steiner rule, had to resign on December 31, 2021, so he could be sworn in as a Trustee on January 1, 2022. The City Council in a 6-5 vote recently revoked the Steiner rule, which prohibits elected officials from serving on another board, committee, or commission.
Nominated to serve through June 2023 is District 9 resident Scott Hayes, who is a Veteran,
“Hayes believes he would be a great addition the veterans council and bring a different perspective to the issues facing both our young and older veterans,” wrote the Mayor to the City Council.
The City Council has the nominations on their Tuesday, December 6 agenda. A majority vote is needed for approval.
If approved, this will be the first time the Council is all men. The Council will also be all white.
According to Census data, there are more than 2,200 Veterans in the City of Framingham.
The former Framingham Board of Selectmen created the Council in 2013 with 5 members, 4 of which MUST be a Veteran, and one non-Veteran. The Council expanded to 7 members before Framingham became a City in 2018.
In August, one of the members of the Veteran Council Alan Beauchamp died.
Eric Finn is the current chair of the Veterans Council.
The purpose of the Council, when creates, was “provide support to all Framingham Veterans and the Veterans Service Officer. To serve as a liaison between Framingham veterans and the Framingham Board of Selectmen and Town Manager. To promote the recognition and observance of all patriotic holidays to include, but not limited to: Memorial and Veterans’ Day. To foster an understanding and appreciation within the Town of the achievements, contributions, and sacrifices veterans have made to the Community, State and Nation.”
Representatives from Framingham State University and MassBay Community College Framingham Campuses also have a seat on the Council but with no voting privileges.
The City’s Veterans Services Officer Kathleen Lang serves on the Council, as well, but again with no voting rights.
The Veterans Council is responsible for producing an annual report.
Since Framingham became a City the purpose of the Council is:
- To provide support to all Framingham Veterans and the Veterans Service Officer.
- To serve as a liaison between Framingham veterans and the Mayor.
- To promote the recognition and observance of all patriotic holidays to include, but not limited to: Memorial and Veterans’ Day.
- To foster an understanding and appreciation within the City of the achievements, contributions, and sacrifices veterans have made to the community, state, and nation