The Halifax Board of Selectmen met in the early afternoon of July 23. The Selectmen quickly went into executive session to deliberate on multiple contracts before returning to open session. Those contracts included sergeant, patrol officers, firefighters, Highway Mix Unit, Police Chief, Fire Chief, and all unions at the Silver Lake Regional School District and Halifax Elementary School. Upon returning, Selectman Chair Gordon Andrews said of the next item on the agenda, “I’m going to recuse myself because of the ongoing lawsuits and my petitioning activity.”
The item in question was the appointment of the Building Inspector. Selectman Troy Garron said, “First of all, I work for the town. The town has put me in this position several times, I don’t know why, but they have. It’s important to me that things are always above board and fair. I still feel very strongly that Rob Piccirilli is the choice for Building Inspector but unfortunately, that’s not happening.” Selectman Ashley DiSesa then said that she recommended James Perry. Following a sigh, Garron said, “I’ll second it.” It was then voted on unanimously.
Perry, who was appointed as Building Inspector, said during his interview, “I’ve been in the building business my whole entire career, residential and commercial.” Perry attended and earned a degree from Wentworth Institute of Technology. He ran the family business for many years before going into business on his own where he specialized in residential development and new construction. “I always had it in my mind, at some point down the line, to transition into some type of inspector’s job and this became available and I think I’m at a point in my career where between all of my experience and knowledge, I think it’s a good fit,” Perry had told the Board during his interview in June.
A member of the audience did ask why Mr. Piccirilli was not reappointed to which Garron replied, “I’m not at liberty to say.” It was also questioned why DiSesa would have a vote on whether Piccirilli was capable of doing the job as she wasn’t serving on the Board during his stay as Building Inspector. With regard to public comments made that the residents were being left in the dark, Garron said, “I agree with you on that. Unfortunately with legal matters that are going on, I can’t comment on it.” The resident then turned to DiSesa and said, “Can I ask you, what do you base your decision on?” DiSesa responded, “We’ve been advised by our legal counsel to probably not take public comment and to not speak anymore on this at the moment… so I apologize.” Robert Piccirilli currently has an ongoing lawsuit against the town of Halifax.
Piccirilli was not the only longstanding town employee or volunteer to not be reappointed by the new formation of the Board of Selectmen. Town Counsel Lawrence P. Mayo was also recently replaced by the law firm ofBrooks & DeRensis. Additionally, Robert Gaynor who has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for 32 years, most recently as Chair, is unlikely to continue on the ZBA. In all instances, Garron voted in favor of reappointment stressing his disappointment that the individuals would not be reappointed.