Last evening’s Town Council meeting began with the town manager recommending the appointment of East Longmeadow resident Rebecca Torcia to the health board. Ms. Torcia is a trained nurse and has taught related subjects at Putnam High School for the past 15 years. According to the town manager, Ms. Torcia hopes to “help the community wend its way through hopefully the tail end of our COVID submersion.”
The councilors then unanimously voted to expedite the appointment of Ms. Torcia by waiving the provisions of Article 5, Section 5-4 of the home rule charter which gives the council up to 45 days to approve health board nominations. As grounds for waiving the charter provisions, council president Michael Kane noted that “there’s no benefit to dragging this out” and that the health board was falling behind in its duties due to the absence of members. Kane noted that by expediting the appointment process, the health board “can meet as soon as tomorrow.”
Two of the health board’s three seats have been vacant since September. Dr. Kathryn Jobbins was appointed to the board earlier this month. Ms. Torcia’s appointment fills the remaining vacancy.