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Merrimack Valley

October 24, 2012

Ruling ousts two from city's Licensing Board

Lantigua calls emergency Council meeting tonight on appointments


Martinez was enrolled as an independent until switching to Republican on Sept. 25, a week before Lantigua named him to the Republican seat on the Licensing Board, his voting card on file with the Lawrence Election Division shows. Torres said yesterday he has been an independent for several years, but Boddy said records he received from the City Clerk show Torres is enrolled as a Democrat.

Yesterday, two city councilors expressed exasperation at Lantigua’s inability to nominate members to the Licensing Board whose appointments can stick.

“These are self-created emergencies that, because of the way the mayor does things, have now become what looks like, to people from outside the city, a circus,” said council vice chairman Daniel Rivera. “The number-one thing that businesses need is the expectation of continuity and an understanding of what the rules are. Not having that on this board has created chaos for the license holders and for enforcement of public safety.”

“It’s indicative of much bigger problems,” said Marc Laplante, who was the first to challenge Lantigua’s Licensing Board appointments. “This is a track record. The mayor has continued to bungle and make missteps. Whether it’s intentional or unintentional, the individuals who suffer are the residents of the city of Lawrence, because we don’t have a government that is working optimally.”

Lantigua could not be reached yesterday. City Council President Frank Moran also could not be reached.

In his memo to the City Council invoking his authority to call it into an emergency session today, Lantigua said he would be submitting a new Licensing Board nominee for the council to consider – presumably an enrolled Republican — and said he also would be asking the council to reconsider Martinez’s appointment.

That raised still more questions about the appointments, as well as the possibility that more chaos and challenges could ensue when the City Council and the Licensing Board meet in back-to-back meetings tonight.

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