October 28 2019

ZBA’s Brenda Rappaport to Fill Vacant Planning Board Seat

By: Rich Hosford

The Planning Board had a new member who will serve at least up to the next election if not beyond. 


On Monday evening the Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board held a joint meeting to appoint a replacement for long-time Planning Board member Jack Kelly who resigned last month citing issues with how the town was handling a lawsuit from Herb Chambers over the Porsche/Audi dealership on Cambridge Street. 


Planning Board Chair Barbara L’Heureux explained the process. First, the town had advertised they were looking for applications from residents who were interested in the position. She said a subcommittee from each board met to discuss the applicants and narrowed it down to three people from all the submittals and then conducted interviews with those finalists. The final part was this week’s meeting between the members of each board. 


L’Heureux said that while they initially had three finalists, one of them, John Alberghini, pulled out before Monday’s meeting.


The two finalists up for consideration were Board of Appeals members and real estate Global Portfolio Manager for Nuance Brenda Rappaport and Town Meeting member and campaign coordinator for Boston Climate Action Network Andy Wells-Bean. 


Both candidates gave statements about why they wanted to fill the empty Planning Board seat. 


Going first, Wells-Bean said he wanted to bring his background on environment issues and smart sustainability to the board. 


“I hope that if selected I could take some of those skills and bring them to the benefit of the town,” he said. 


Rappaport said that Burlington means a lot to her and her family who have been long-time members of the community. 


“Burlington is not only my heart and soul but also my legacy as a member of the fourth generation raising the fifth it is important to me to continue to have this community be prosperous and the best community it can be,” she said. 


The two boards voted by roll call and in the end Rappaport gained one more vote than Wells-Bean with Board of Selectmen Chair Joe Morandi breaking a tie with a vote for Rappaport. 


Members of both boards thanked both candidates and everyone who had applied for the position. 


“I’d like to thank all the candidates, it was a phenomenal group of people,” Planning Board member Joe Impemba said. 


According to a previous interview with Town Clerk Amy Warfield, Rappaport will serve until the April, 2020 Town Election. Whoever wins that election will serve out the remainder of Kelly’s term which ends in 2022. 


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