WEST NEWBURY — Two new faces were chosen to fill key health and safety roles in town.
The Conservation Commission selected Albert “Bert” Comins to serve as the new conservation agent, replacing the retiring Jay Smith. The move was contingent on selectmen supporting the wage of $25.27 per hour Comins was offered for the upcoming fiscal year.
Comins, a resident of Newbury, is scheduled to work 20 hours per week, Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to noon, with additional time for site visits and commission meetings.
Comins is a graduate from Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine, with a bachelor’s in environmental studies. He completed a 12-week wetland delineation course approved by the Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program; and has prior experience in construction, property maintenance and education.
The commission is providing Comins with 90 days of mentoring, according to members Wendy Reed and Judy Mizner.
The Health Board received a new member to replace Kimberly Cole, who resigned in May because she is moving out of town.
“The citizens of West Newbury are fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and dedicated staff, including Health Agent Paul (Sevigny) as well as an equally amazing assistant Jane (Krafton).
I’ve enjoyed working with the other members, Bob (Janes) and Blake (Seale), who work tirelessly to serve the community and are both so invested in the best interest of the town as well,” she wrote in her resignation letter dated May 16. Cole served for 14 years.
Filling Cole’s seat on an interim basis until the next annual town election is Tom Fahey. A 17-year resident, Fahey holds a bachelor’s in pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, has been licensed as a registered pharmacist for 28 years, and has worked at Beverly Hospital for many years.
“Working extensively in the Critical Care Unit with the infectious disease doctors, as well as many other disciplines, has given me a strong interest in public health, disease prevention, and treatment,” Fahey wrote in his letter of interest submitted May 28.
Per state law, the remaining members of the Board of Health had 30 days to notify selectmen of Cole’s resignation and the two boards had to schedule a joint meeting to make the interim appointment. The candidate must be a registered voter to serve on the elected board.
Selectman Glenn Kemper was not present at the joint meeting June 24.