Lantigua did not identify the Republican – further infuriating the City Council – but Ronald Martin, the chairman of the Board of Registrars, said yesterday that it was him.
“He was in a bind,” Martin said, referring to Lantigua’s inability to find a Republican in a city where only 7 percent of about 40,000 registered voters are enrolled in the party.
“He’s seeking out a Republican and we’re an endangered species in this city,” Martin said.
“He said, ‘Take it for a short time till this gets straightened out.’”
Martin said he considered the offer, but declined when questions were raised about whether he could remain on the Board of Registrars while also serving on the Licensing Board. He said he believed Boddy, the city attorney, issued an opinion saying he could not.
Boddy would not comment yesterday on whether he advised Lantigua on the issue.
— Staff reporter Mark Vogler contributed to this report
In the meantime, one city councilor joined in the search for candidates yesterday when he advertised the vacancies on his Facebook page.
“Since the mayor is apparently having difficulty finding qualified individuals to fill the Licensing Board, I am reaching out to my social media friends to see if you know of any interested individuals in Lawrence who would be interested in applying for the position,” Councilor Marc Laplante’s posting says.
The board is best known for issuing liquor licenses, but regulates a wide range of businesses that also includes package stores, car dealers, bodegas, boarding houses and any business that sells milk.