Concerning Plymouth’s appointee process
To the Editor:
Plymouth City Council’s Jan. 15 work session provided clear and convincing evidence that the City Council lacks a well-defined and fair process for appointing volunteer members to Plymouth’s hard working commissions.
A few comments from City Council members illustrate this point:
• Bob Stein when discussing an HRA candidate said, “he is just a kid.”
• Jim Willis recommended replacing all but one member of the Planning Commission and would replace a Human Rights Committee member. He did not complain about their service, but rather indicated they had served “long enough.”
• Judy Johnson stated, “we need more women” as a reason for candidate selection.
• Interviewees were told repeatedly about a strict 80 percent attendance requirement for commissioners and some were asked about their work schedules. However, when discussing commissioner reappointments, arbitrary attendance exceptions were granted to some.
Considering Council’s comments and actions: Firstly, age and gender are protected classes under the law. Secondly, the appointment, performance criteria and removal process should be the same for all citizens and clearly defined. Thirdly, if commissioners or committees are removed merely for disagreeing with the Council, commissions are nothing more than rubber stamps for the City Council.
These actions show the Plymouth City Council has failed in its appointment process. More importantly, the Council’s actions demonstrate a failure of equitable treatment of volunteers in the City of Plymouth.