Ashe to remain on Select Board through budget season
By Courtney Llewellyn
Reminder Assistant Editor
LONGMEADOW Determining a budget for fiscal year 2010 (FY10) is a daunting task, especially for a newcomer to town government or for a board that's short a member. That's why new State Rep. Brian Ashe has decided to stay on the Select Board through Longmeadow's budget season.
Paul Santaniello, chair of the Select Board, told the other members of the board via e-mail that he "asked Brian to stay on the Select Board through at least the budget vote in March, so there would be a fluid continuation of the budget process and alleviate any concern of tie votes or the Board not being up to full strength."
Sent before the board's Jan. 20 meeting, Santaniello's e-mail continued, "I'm happy to say that Brian has agreed and look forward to us working together during this difficult time."
Vice-chair Robert Barkett wondered at that meeting if Ashe was "aware of the responsibilities of staying on board."
Barkett suggested that Ashe either resign his seat or stay on board through the elections in June, and, that if he did resign, that the board hold a special election as quickly as possible.
"Brian decided to stay because having a special election at this time would cost the town anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000," Dan Zwirko, Ashe's legislative aide, told Reminder Publications
. "Spending [that money] during these economic times is not a smart move."
Zwirko added that Ashe staying on the Select Board through the budget season "makes sense financially" because he'll be "putting the town first."
"Setting the budget is right around the corner," Zwirko stated. "Brian's experience will help the town."
Ashe has not yet set a specific date for when he will resign from the board.
"It will be after the budget," Zwirko said. "He'll cross that bridge when he gets to it."