Tied votes result in split leadership on P&Z board

At it Jan. 5 meeting, the Planning and Zoning Board had to resort to its procedures to select a chairman and a vice chairman for the next two years.

Republicans on the board voted for Edward Mead to be the chairman. In nominating Mead, Republican John Grant said Mead has been on the board for eight years and served the previous two years as vice chairman. Democrats voted for Anthony Sutton, who has been on the board two years, but not in a leadership role.

In his role as acting chair during the vote, City Planner David B. Sulkis conducted two votes, one public and one by secret ballot, both resulting in a 5-5 vote.

Following those two failed votes, Sulkis invoked procedures the board adopted six years ago during a previous 5-5 Democrat-Republican split where the board had repeated 5-5 votes to elect a chairman, votes that took place over two meetings.

Under those procedures, when the board is unable to resolve a tie vote, the two nominated candidates share the roles of chairman and vice chairman. The person whose party affiliation is the same as the mayor serves as chairman the first year and vice chairman the second year. The person who is of a different party than the mayor serves as vice chairman the first year and chairman the second year.

Following his selection as chair, Sutton said, “This board is one of the most collaborative boards of all parties and persuasions in the city.”

The city’s other two major boards selected their leaders in November. Susan Glennon (D) was unanimously re-elected as chairman. Suzanne DiBiase (R) was elected majority leader and Jennifer Federico (D) minority leader. The Board of Education is split 5-5 between Republicans and Democrats.

On the Board of Aldermen, Phil Vetro (D) was re-elected as chairman, with Nick Veccharelli (D) as majority leader and Anthony Giannattasio (R) as minority leader.

According to Board of Aldermen meeting minutes, after the votes Vetro told the board he felt he was fair over the last two years and said that he would continue to strive for fairness.

Giannattasio told the board he looked forward to the future and the next two years. He said he hoped as aldermen they could think as independent thinkers and thinkers for the people of Milford, according to meeting minutes.

Editor Jill Dion contributed to this article.